Biden claims he pressed Saudi leader over murder of journalist — RT World News

The president has stressed he has no regrets about calling the crown prince an ‘outcast’ after the 2018 murder

US President Joe Biden has said he confronted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) over the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, insisting the royal was personally responsible for the murder.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with bin Salman on Friday, Biden said he raised the issue « at the top of the meeting » and took a stand « crystal clear. »

“I said very simply: For an American president to be silent on a human rights issue, is that consistent with – inconsistent with who we are and who I am? I will always defend our values,” he said.

While, according to Biden, the prince has denied any direct involvement in the murder of Khashoggi – which took place at a Saudi diplomatic building in Turkey in October 2018 – the president went on to say that he « indicates that [bin Salman] was probably » involved after all.

Asked about recent comments from Khashoggi’s widow, who said « the blood of MbS’s next victim is flowing [Biden’s] hands, » he just replied « I’m sorry that she feels like this » going on to say that he did not regret having passed the prince « pariah » in the 2020 presidential race.

“Do I regret it? I don’t regret anything I said. What happened to Khashoggi was outrageous,” he added.

The president has been criticized for continuing the close US-Saudi relationship despite repeated accusations of serious rights abuses within the Gulf monarchy, foremost among them the brutal assassination of Khashoggi, which the CIA has concluded was had been ordered by bin Salman himself.

Upon arriving at Al Salman Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, Biden was pictured giving the prince a friendly fist bump, a harsh gesture sentenced by Khashoggi’s former fiancée.

« Hey POTUS, is this the responsibility you promised for my murder? » she wrote, apparently speaking from her late spouse’s perspective, while sharing a photo of the punch.

However, Biden insisted that the purpose of his trip to Saudi Arabia was not to see the prince, but rather « to meet the [Gulf Cooperation Council] and nine nations to meet the security…and needs of the free world.

He made a similar argument in a recent Washington Post op-ed before his travels, where he outlined various reasons for visiting the kingdom, including regional security, rising gas prices, « assault » in Ukraine and competition with China.

Biden tries to justify his trip to Saudi Arabia


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