Joe Biden raises Khashoggi murder, MbS cites ‘US mistakes’ in reply

JEDDAH: Shortly after shaking hands with the de facto ruler of the kingdom, US President Joe Biden said on Friday that he had informed Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he held him accountable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

After Khashoggi's murder in 2018, Biden traveled to a nation he had previously labeled a pariah. Biden claimed the crown prince, also known as MbS, denied any participation in the assassination and claimed he had held those responsible accountable. According to Biden, "I brought up the Khashoggi murder at the top of the discussion, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think of it now.

"I discussed it in a straightforward and direct manner. My point of view was really apparent. I stated very clearly that it goes against who we are as a country and who I am for an American president to be mute on a human rights issue. Saudi insider-turned-critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by Saudi operatives inside the country's consulate in Istanbul, according to US intelligence, and the crown prince reportedly gave the go-ahead for an operation to either arrest or kill him. Biden referred to Khashoggi's treatment as outrageous. In response to the question during their discussion, the crown prince "essentially said that he was not directly responsible for it," according to Biden. I said that I believed he was.

The President brought up the subject during the conversation, according to Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for international affairs. . . And in response, the crown prince said, "This was a horrible experience for Saudi Arabia and that it was a terrible error," adding that the US had also committed mistakes, especially in Iraq. Jubeir claimed that MbS had argued against attempting to impose one's ideas on other nations through coercion. "The US's attempts to impose ideas on Afghanistan and Iraq did not succeed. It actually backfired, the crown prince told Biden, according to what he reported. "Values differ among nations, and those differences must be recognized. ".

Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the foreign minister, said that MBS also cited the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May in the occupied West Bank and the sexual and physical abuse of prisoners by US military personnel at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison as incidents that reflected poorly on the US.

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