Biden Fist-Bumps Mohammed bin Salman During Saudi Visit - Rolling Stone
×
×
Home Politics Politics News

Biden Fist-Bumps Ruler Who Ordered Execution of U.S. Journalist

The president is acting rather buddy-buddy with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after promising on the campaign trail to make him a “pariah”

In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, greets President Joe Biden, with a fist bump after his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, July 15, 2022. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, greets President Joe Biden, with a fist bump after his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, July 15, 2022. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, greets President Joe Biden, with a fist bump after his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, July 15, 2022.

Saudi Press Agency/AP

President Joe Biden greeted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with a fist bump at the entrance to Al Salam Royal Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

 

The two leaders are beginning a series of meetings through which the Biden administration hopes to improve relations between the two countries, particularly in the matter of oil exports from Saudi Arabia. The diplomatic summit marks a departure from Biden’s promises to hold bin Salman accountable for his role in the 2018 murder of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was kidnapped and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allegedly under orders from bin Salman.

Biden said at a press conference following the meeting that Khashoggi’s murder was the first thing he brought up with the crown prince. He added later that bin Salman denied having anything to do with Khashoggi’s death. “He basically said that he was not personally responsible for it,” Biden said. “I indicated I thought he was. He said he was not personally responsible for it and took action against those who were responsible.”

When Biden was asked about the fist-bump and how he can be sure another murder like Khashoggi’s won’t happen again, he laughed it off. “God love you, what a silly question,” Biden said. “How could I possibly be sure of any of that? I just made it clear if anything occurs like that again, they’ll get that response and much more.”

During his 2020 campaign, Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia “pay the price” for its human rights abuses and treat the nation as the “pariah that they are.” The president and his advisers are now striking a different tune by agreeing to sit down with bin Salman. State Department spokesperson Ned Price spun the new strategy a “recalibration” rather than a “rupture.”

The topic of energy exports will be on the table throughout the summit. Biden is struggling to manage a domestic spike in fuel costs and inflation, and the meetings are taking place as lawmakers in the U.S. struggle to pass economic legislation that would include investment in alternative energy sources. West Virginia’s fossil-fuel friendly Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, appears to once again be standing in the way of these efforts.

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.