Biden Should Not Meet MbS

Biden Should Not Meet MbS
Biden Should Not Meet MbS

US President Joe Biden should not visit Saudi Arabia or meet its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), who approved an operation to capture or kill murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to US intelligence, a leading Democratic lawmaker said Sunday.

Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote opinion columns for Middle East Eye and the Washington Post that were critical of the prince’s policies, was killed and dismembered in 2018 by operatives linked to the prince in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Asked if Biden, who on Friday acknowledged the possibility he may visit Saudi Arabia soon, should go to the oil exporter and meet the crown prince, its de facto ruler, representative Adam Schiff said: "In my view, no.

"I wouldn't go. I wouldn't shake his hand. This is someone who butchered an American resident, cut him up into pieces and in the most terrible and premeditated way," Schiff, who chairs the US House of Representatives intelligence committee, told CBS's "Face the Nation" program.

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement by MbS in the killing and rejected a February 2021 US intelligence report that assessed that he "approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill" Khashoggi.

"Until Saudi Arabia makes a radical change in terms of human rights, I wouldn't want anything to do with him," Schiff said of  MbS.

He also rejected arguments that Biden should visit Saudi Arabia to try to get it to increase oil production and lower US gasoline prices, a problem for Biden and his fellow Democrats ahead of the November midterm congressional elections.

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