Biden leaves Saudi Arabia after visit scheduled for meeting with Prince Bin Salman

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, left Saudi Arabia this Saturday (16), after a two-day trip marked by the meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed Bin Salman, whom the CIA blames for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah after attending a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit and meeting with leaders from Iraq, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The president was accompanied to the airport by the governor of Mecca, Khalid Al-Faisal, nephew of the Saudi monarch King Salman Bin Abdulaziz.

The main topic of the visit was the meeting on Friday (15) with Bin Salman, whom Biden greeted with a “punch”, a greeting that became popular during the Covid pandemic-16. The fulfillment, however, generated immediate criticism for contradicting the promises made by Biden during the 2020 election campaign, when he pledged to treat Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” on the international stage and to make their leaders pay a “price” for the murder of Khashoggi in 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Shortly after arriving at the White House, the president revealed a report in which the CIA accused Bin Salman of having approved the operation that resulted in the journalist’s death and dismemberment.

After the meeting, in an interview In a press conference, the US president defended himself and assured that he discussed the murder of Khashoggi with Bin Salman in a “frank and direct” way, making it clear that he thought the crown prince was responsible for the death. The other issues that marked Biden’s visit were Iran’s nuclear program and Washington’s calls for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to increase oil production to drive down prices, triggered by the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions against it. Russia.

With the departure of Biden from Saudi Arabia, the president concludes his first trip to the Middle East since taking office in January 2021. The first stop was Israel, from where it went to the West Bank.

Biden calls for freedom for the peoples in the Gulf

During the summit of the Cooperation Council of Gulf, held this Saturday (16) in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Biden reiterated his country’s commitment to the Middle East and took the opportunity to pressure Gulf leaders, some from authoritarian regimes, so that they guarantee the freedom of their peoples.

With Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sitting beside him, Biden acknowledged that many countries make mistakes, including the US, but warned that only those who learn from them can become “stronger”. “No country gets it right all the time, not even most of the time, and neither does the United States. But our people are our strength. Only countries that have confidence in themselves to learn from their mistakes become more strong,” Biden said, adding that “innovation” within countries comes from respect for human rights, including women’s rights, and reaffirming the importance of allowing society to “question and criticize its leaders without fear of reprisal”.

“The future will be for those countries that unleash the full potential of their people”, he said, reiterating his country’s commitment to the Middle East and pledging not to leave any “void” to be exploited by enemies such as China, Russia and Iran.

Saudi Arabia warns US about imposition of values ​​

Shortly later, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan, warned the United States that trying to impose its values ​​on others “will cause negative reactions”, when referring to the speech of the American president, Joe Biden, about the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018.

“It is from It is extremely important that values ​​are disseminated through dialogue. Attempting to impose values ​​on others will not be effective, and will provoke negative reactions,” the Saudi minister told a news conference at the end of the summit. Farhan called what happened to Khashoggi a “mistake that happens in any country”, and the prince heir made it clear that the US also made mistakes and took steps to hold those responsible to account.”

“The kingdom has already taken appropriate measures. We made it clear to President Biden that in the kingdom respect for human rights it is part of Saudi Arabia’s core values, in line with our Islamic faith and our Arab values”, adding that Saudi Arabia has its “special values” of which it is “proud”. According to the minister, “any state will want to protect its values, and if the US wants to deal with countries that share the same values, the list of countries that deal with it will be very short”.

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