The crown prince told the president that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a painful episode for Saudi Arabia and that the United States had also made mistakes, including in Iraq.
The exchange highlighted the tensions between Washington and Riyadh, its closest Arab ally, over several issues, including the murder of Khashoggi, high oil prices, and the Yemen war. Biden held a summit with six Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq, while downplaying his meeting with Prince Mohammed.
The kingdom’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, said those accused of killing Khashoggi were brought to trial and punished with prison terms.
U.S. intelligence agencies believe the crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing, which he denies.
Jubeir, talking to Reuters about Friday’s conversation between the two leaders, said the crown prince had made the case that trying to impose values by force on other countries could backfire.
“It had not worked when the U.S. tried to impose values on Afghanistan and Iraq. It backfired. It does not work when people try to impose values by force on other countries,” Jubeir quoted the prince as telling Biden.
“Countries have different values, and those values should be respected,” The Crown Prince told Biden.
Jubeir rejected the accusation that Saudi Arabia has hundreds of political prisoners, saying that Saudi citizens have committed crimes and been found guilty by Saudi courts.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- On Khashoggi killing, Saudi prince says U.S. also made mistakes Reuters
- Biden says he confronted Saudi crown prince over journalist’s killing Los Angeles Times
- Biden’s ‘shameful’ fist-bump with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman shocks Twitter, Washington Post CEO Fox News
- Biden fist bumps Saudi crown prince on trip that seeks to reset ties Reuters.com
- Biden (reluctantly) faces reality in Saudi sit down New York Post