Biden ‘not silent on human rights’… Muhammad smiles instead of answering ‘apology’ question
Biden claims ‘bullying’ and requests to increase oil production in Saudi Arabia Muhammad and fists
US President Joe Biden has directly accused Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of being responsible for the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Crown Prince Muhammad denied that he was responsible.
President Biden, who is visiting Saudi Arabia, said at a press conference after meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed on the 15th (local time), “I raised the question at the beginning of the meeting, making it clear what I was thinking at the time and what I am thinking now.” said.
Biden said he had blamed Crown Prince Mohammed for the assassination of Khashoggi.
“I said very straight-forward that the president’s silence on human rights issues contradicts who we are and who I am,” Biden said.
But Crown Prince Mohammed said he was not personally responsible for the assassination and said he had already taken action against those responsible, Biden said.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and dissident Saudi journalist, was murdered by Saudi agents at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
U.S. intelligence officials blamed Crown Prince Mohammed for the assassination, and President Biden announced that he would turn Saudi Arabia into an international ‘bullying’, and relations between the two countries grew cold.
Under this circumstance, President Biden personally visited Saudi Arabia and even met with Crown Prince Mohammed, causing controversy in the United States.
Earlier that day, President Biden, who arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and headed to Al Salam’s palace, greeted Crown Prince Mohammed immediately after getting out of his private vehicle, instead of shaking hands, said “fist bow”.
Reuters reported that this is a scene that defines the essential meaning of reestablishing relations between the two countries, and Bloomberg reported that the “era of Saudi bullying” has come to an end.
However, Fred Ryan, the publisher and CEO of the WP to which Khashoggi belonged, immediately issued a statement, calling the fist greeting “shameful” and strongly criticized that it would give him the ‘unjust salvation’ that Crown Prince Mohammed longed for.
Before the trip, the White House said President Biden would minimize physical contact, such as shaking hands, because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) resurgence.
This was also interpreted as not shaking hands with Crown Prince Mohammed, whom he had to meet reluctantly.
During his previous visit to Israel, President Biden shook hands with senior officials, visited the Holocaust Memorial, and even hugged survivors.
He also shook hands with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.
“The policy of minimizing physical contact has led to speculation that Biden will use it as an excuse to avoid shaking hands with Muhammad,” said The Hill. pointed out
The US joint investigative team, which entered the meeting room at the beginning of the meeting, asked President Biden, ‘Is Saudi Arabia still bullying?’ and Crown Prince Mohammed, ‘Would he apologize to the Khashoggi family?’, but the two did not answer.
However, the Crown Prince Mohammed showed a smile instead of answering, according to the joint report.
President Biden reiterated that he has no regrets about his past comments about Khashoggi, and reiterated that “what happened to Khashoggi is atrocious.”
President Biden also emphasized the achievements of his visit to Saudi Arabia.
He said progress had been made toward normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and that the United States and Saudi Arabia had agreed to work together on a wide range of green energy initiatives.
In particular, President Biden expressed optimism that Saudi Arabia would act in the coming weeks to increase global oil supplies.
At the same time, he said, “We will not leave a void in the Middle East for Russia or China to fill.”
When President Biden arrived at Jeddah Airport earlier, on the Saudi side, only the governor of Mecca, Khalid Alfaisal, and the Saudi Ambassador to the United States met and received a grand welcome, a contrast to the appearance of the arrival in Israel.
The WP said, “Unlike the hearty and noisy welcome ceremony at the Israeli airport, President Biden only stayed for one minute and then left in a private vehicle.”
The purpose of President Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia was to seek cooperation from Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer, to increase oil production in order to stabilize oil prices, which have soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It is convincingly suggested that President Biden went to Saudi Arabia out of a sense of crisis that the surge in oil prices would lead to inflation, eroding his approval rating, and that it would be a bad news for the November midterm elections.
President Biden previously described his visit to Saudi Arabia as “a visit in the national interest” amid controversy.