Latest Biden news: The president pressures the Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi’s murder and laughs at the criticism directed at him

Biden says the US will use force as a “last resort” to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons

Joe Biden is on the defensive as his trip to the Middle East continues in Saudi Arabia.

The president has ridiculed criticism that he should not fist the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who is believed to have ordered the gruesome 2018 killing of one Saudi dissident and another. Washington Post Writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Biden told reporters on Friday that he pressured Mohammed bin Salman about “outrageousThe killing took place during a large-scale meeting between senior US and Saudi officials.

He said: “I have made my point very clearly … that an American president remains silent on the issue of human rights, which does not agree with who we are and who I am.”

Representative Ilhan Omar says that the trip to the kingdom “sends the wrong message to everyone who cares about human rights.”

The trip aims to reset the US relationship with a country that once vowed to make it a “pariah” on the world stage. Prior to the visit, Israel and Saudi Arabia took an important step towards normalizing relations with an agreement on flights and the Red Sea islands.

Before traveling to Jeddah, the president attempted to mend relations with the Palestinians as he reaffirmed US support for “two states for two peoples”. But he acknowledged that “the ground is not ripe” for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Biden also announced just over $300 million in aid to the Palestinians and commitments from Israel to launch 4G in the West Bank and improve freedom of movement.

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After meeting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, Mr. Biden also visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

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Watch: Biden talks about the killing of Mohammed bin Salman and Khashoggi

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Earlier: Biden said he “can’t buy a solution” to the occupation of Palestine

Joe Biden He was accused of trying to “buy a solution” to Israel’s half-century-long occupation of Palestine in which it was revealed that he would pledge more than $300m (£250m) in aid.

On Friday, the US president met his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem – in the Israeli-controlled West Bank – as people gathered to protest his arrival.

Lamyat Sabine’s report on independent.

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Biden praises Saudi Arabia’s normalization steps with Israel over the air

President Biden said it was a “big deal” that “several months of quiet diplomacy” led to Saudi Arabia opening its airspace to flights from Israel.

“This is a big deal, not only symbolically, but substantively, it’s a big deal,” the president said Friday. This means that Saudi airspace is now open for flights to and from Israel. It’s the first concrete step on the path to what I hope will be a more remarkable normalization of relations.”

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‘What happened to Kashoggi was outrageous’: Biden says he blamed Mohammed bin Salman for killing journalist in Saudi Arabia

President Joe Biden first day in Kingdom Saudi Arabia He ended up unable to avoid a moment he and his advisors had gone to great lengths to avoid: a televised fist strike with the man who ordered the murder. Washington Post Journalist Jamal Qashoggi.

The brief meeting between Mr. Biden and Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince known widely by his initials, Mohammed bin Salman, took place shortly after Biden arrived in the kingdom for two days of meetings with Saudi officials and leaders from across the Gulf. region.

White House officials had hoped to avoid any image of Biden engaging in a handshake or any kind of greeting with MBS by claiming at the start of the trip that the nearly 80-year-old president would avoid handshakes as a precaution due to the altitude. Covid-19 cases in the region. But Biden thwarted that plan within minutes of arriving in Israel on the first leg of his trip when he greeted Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu with a fist and a hearty smile.

Upon his arrival in Jeddah, the first item on Biden’s agenda was a bilateral meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. But Mohammed bin Salman received the president instead. Presented with a choice between the handshake he wants to avoid and the further volatility of US-Saudi relations, the president opted to compromise with the conscious fist of Covid.

Andrew Feinberg With the full report.

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Joe Biden laughs at criticism of the Saudi crown prince

Joe Biden showed a big smile on Friday when reporters asked him if he regretted the Saudi Crown Prince, de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, upon his arrival in the country.

Intelligence officials believe bin Salman ordered the horrific 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and Washington Post A writer who was a permanent resident of the United States.

Biden said he lobbied Saudi officials, including Mohammed bin Salman, about what happened to Khashoggi to open a meeting the officials held on Friday.

“I raised him at the top of the meeting, and he explained what I thought at the time and what I think now,” he said. “I was frank and straightforward in discussing it. I made my point crystal clear. I said very frankly, that the US president remaining silent on the issue of human rights is inconsistent with who we are and who I am. I will always stand up for our values.”

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Democratic leader criticizes Biden’s fist bump

California Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has spoken frankly about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, criticized the president’s fist-blow with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

In a rare criticism of Joe Biden from a top House Democrat, Schiff tweeted: “If we ever needed a visual reminder of the continuing grip that oil-rich autocrats have over US foreign policy in the Middle East, we got it today.”

“One fist stroke is worth a thousand words,” he added.

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President Biden presents his remarks on the Saudi trip

President Biden is now giving a speech about his trip to Saudi Arabia.

Watch his statements live here, via the White House.

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Washington Post Publisher Calls Fist ‘Shameful’

Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO of Washington Postjoined the chorus of condemnation facing President Joe Biden for his shock grip with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.



The fist between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than the handshake – it was shameful. He demonstrated a level of intimacy and comfort that provided Mohammed bin Salman with the unjustified salvation he so desperately sought.

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Saudi Press Agency publishes photos of Biden talks

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Biden addresses reporters at 3:30 p.m. ET

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