Bin Salman defends his innocence in the case of murdered U.S. journalist Yamal Khashogi to Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden greets Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah. – -/Saudi Press Agency/dpa

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman defended himself Friday before U.S. President Joe Biden against the declassified CIA report that holds him responsible for the murder of U.S. journalist Yamal Khashogi at the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul in October 2018.

As reported by President Biden to the media, Bin Salman has not only assured not to be «personally responsible» for the death of Khashogi, but has asserted to have taken «action against those responsible».

I indicated that I thought he was (responsible) (…) He said he was not personally responsible for it, and he took action against those responsible,» Biden told the media present at the exit of his meeting with Bin Salman in the Saudi city of Jeddah, according to the newspaper ‘The Hill’.

President Biden landed Friday in Jeddah, where he plans to spend the next two days as part of his tour of the Middle East, which has already taken him to Israel, and now will meet both Bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdulaziz and other senior officials of the country.

The stop of the tenant of the White House has raised controversy, although the president has always assured that the visit is motivated by «strategic» issues and has stressed that respect for Human Rights will be one of the main points to be addressed with the Saudi representatives.

One of the issues that has provoked the most criticism has been precisely everything related to the death of Khashogi. In fact, Friday’s greeting between Biden and Bin Salman has been described as «shameful» by the executive director of the ‘Washington Post’ newspaper, Fred Ryan, where the murdered journalist worked.

Another of the most questioned points to Biden has been his contradiction regarding the position that the United States would take towards Saudi Arabia. Due to the Khashogi case, the president insisted that Washington’s position would be to turn Saudi Arabia into an international «pariah», although his visit seems to go against this statement.

In this regard, the tenant of the White House has assured that he does not regret what he said, and stressed that what happened to the journalist «was outrageous».

Biden thus began a new stage of his tour of the region in Saudi Arabia after a two-day visit to Israel, where he met with senior officials of the country, as well as with Palestinian authorities, and where he stressed that the end of the conflict requires a two-state solution.

Regarding Saudi Arabia being one of the stops on his tour of the region, Biden acknowledged Friday in Jeddah that the United States cannot leave «a vacuum» in the Middle East «to be filled by Russia or China». «We are getting results,» he said.

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