Saudi Arabia slammed back at claims made by Democrat President Joe Biden late last week that he had confronted Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince regarding the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
Last week, Biden was photographed fist-bumping MBS when he visited the Kingdom. Biden previously stated while campaigning for president that he intended to deal with Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” state.
During a news conference on Friday, Biden stated, “I raised the issue of Mr. Khashoggi’s killing at the top of the meeting, and I made it clear what I felt at the time and what I feel about it now.”
“And it was completely —, and I was straightforward and direct in discussing it,” he continued. “I made my position clear. I said very plainly: Isn’t it inconsistent with who we are as Americans and who I am to have an American President be silent on a human-rights issue? I’ll always defend our principles.”
Biden said he informed MBS that he “thought” MBS was behind the assassination, to which MBS denied responsibility. According to Biden, MBS responded that all parties involved in the murder had been convicted.
The Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, who was in the meeting with Biden and MBS stated that he “didn’t hear” Biden make those statements to MBS.
According to a source, Mohammed bin Salman reportedly scolded Biden in person about actions that the United States was responsible for which were comparable to Khashoggi’s murder.
“These are issues, errors that occur in any country, including the United States. The Crown Prince acknowledged that the US had made its own mistakes and taken action to hold those accountable, as has the kingdom.”
Biden denied the allegations in Saudi Arabia, stating that they were untrue. When pressed on the issue, Biden became irritated with journalists.
“Why don’t you guys talk about something that’s important?” Biden inquired. “I’m willing to answer a question that is vital.”