In Saudi Arabia, Biden ‘checks’ MPs while warning against repression

During his visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday, July 15, US President Joe Biden issued a warning to Riyadh. “Answer” New attacks against dissidents come after a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, considered by Washington to be a supporter of the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Air Force One landed in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia, after a direct flight from Israel, as Washington seeks to normalize relations between its two most important partners in the Middle East. Mohammed bin Salman, known as “MBS”, welcomed Joe Biden to the royal residence in Jeddah. ” Cheque “ Punch with the 36-year-old de facto ruler of the Saudi kingdom

In Jeddah, Joe Biden also met the ailing and 86-year-old King Salman. “Work Session” Under the leadership of Prince Mohammed, it is inevitable in everything from oil to the military. A meeting between Messrs. Biden and Bin Salman are the focal point of this Middle East tour, with Washington trying to convince the kingdom to open the floodgates on its oil production. The challenge: Lowering the price of a gallon of gasoline as the US midterm elections approach.

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The American “Response” When Recurring

But when he was still a candidate, Joe Biden promised to run Saudi Arabia “couple”, especially in light of the 2018 assassination of journalist and critic of the Saudi regime, Jamal Khashoggi. Once elected, he issued a scathing report on Prince’s responsibility for the murder.

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In Jeddah, Joe Biden warned the crown prince of Saudi Arabia “Answer” On his part, he would invite further attacks on dissidents “defamation” Khashoggi’s murder.

“I made it clear that if something like this happened again, they would have this answer and more.”He announced in front of the media that he mentioned the case “in the beginning” of the meeting with MBS. Saudi officials have always denied the crown prince’s direct responsibility for the murder.

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A controversial “check”

Hades Cengiz, the journalist’s widow, posted a tweet with a screenshot of her late husband’s account: “Is this how you account for my killers as promised?” “. “The blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands”Is it included with a photo? ” Cheque “ Mr. to the Saudi prince. The fist that Biden gave. Joe Biden’s visit was particularly criticized by human rights defenders, who accused the powerful Gulf monarchy of serious violations and heavy repression of its opponents.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speak at the Al-Salam Royal Palace on July 15, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Beyond human rights issues, the aims of Joe Biden’s tour include efforts to bring the Saudis and Israelis closer together. During his speech in Jeddah, Joe Biden announced that international peacekeeping forces, including US troops, would withdraw from Tehran, one of two strategic islands along Sanafir, located in the Red Sea between Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The departure of this force, established for forty years, must take place “by the end of the year”The White House said in a document after Israel said no “No Objection” Transferring the two islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. At the same time, Riyadh for its part announced the opening of its airspace “All Carriers”Including the Israelis, a conclusion “History” To Joe Biden.

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Arab-American Summit

These two initiatives, according to analysts, will pave the way for a possible rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which in 2020 normalized its relations with two other Gulf states: the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. Saudi announcement Mr. It comes ahead of Biden’s unprecedented direct Tel Aviv-Jeddah flight, the first to Saudi Arabia from Israel, which does not officially recognize the Jewish state. His predecessor, Donald Trump, flew in the opposite direction from Saudi Arabia to Israel.

On Saturday, Mr. Biden will attend a summit of leaders of the Gulf Arab monarchies, along with other Arab leaders who began arriving Saturday evening. The possibility of pushing the default initiated by Israel with several Arab countries, especially with the aim of confronting Iran. However, Riyadh imposes conditions on establishing official ties with the Jewish state to resolve the Palestinian issue, and continues to condemn the occupation and colonization of the Palestinian territories.

Before arriving in Saudi Arabia, Joe Biden announced $100 million in aid to a hospital network in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian enclave of the holy city occupied by Israel. He later met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

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The world with AFP

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