US President Joe Biden on his visit to Saudi Arabia Friday raised the murder of Jamal Khashoggi during his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and said he believes the Saudi leader was responsible for the the murder of Washington Post journalist in 2018.
“I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think of it now,” Biden said in is interaction with the media after meeting the Saudi Crown Prince in Jeddah, reported news agency ANI.
“I said, very straightforwardly, for an American President to be silent on the issue of human rights is inconsistent with who we are and who I am,” Biden added, reported ANI, citing The Hill report.
Responding to the questions raised by the media on how the Saudi Crown Prince reacted, Biden said that the crown prince told him he was not “personally responsible” for Khashoggi’s murder.
“He said he was not personally responsible for it, and he took action against those who were responsible,” said Biden.
Biden received criticism earlier on Friday when he was photographed fist bumping the Saudi Crown Prince, who the US intelligence community concluded approved Khashoggi’s 2018 murder, reported The Hill citing sources.
Khashoggi a Saudi insider-turned-critic, was murdered by Saudi agents inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018, US media had reported. Several media houses quoted US intelligence during the time of murder and said that the crown prince had approved an operation to capture or kill Khashoggi, which has been refuted by Saudi Arabia.
(With ANI inputs)