Joe Biden lands in Saudi Arabia for meeting with Mohammed bin Salman

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Joe Biden lands in Saudi Arabia for meeting with Mohammed bin Salman

President Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia Friday for a high-stakes meeting with the country’s top two royals as he seeks more oil prod

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President Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia Friday for a high-stakes meeting with the country’s top two royals as he seeks more oil production to reduce high US gas prices.

Biden will meet first with King Salman, 86, before sitting down with his 36-year-old son, Mohammad bin Salman — who the US believes ordered the 2018 operation that murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Biden and his aides refused to say whether the president will bring up the Khashoggi case and claimed that oil wasn’t the primary objective of the trip.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan sidestepped a reporter’s question about criticism of the trip from Khashoggi’s fiancee, including her request for information about the location of his remains.

“He is going to have a conversation on fundamental issues of human rights in Saudi Arabia — and the specifics of that. I’m not gonna go beyond where he was yesterday,” Sullivan said on Air Force One en route to Jeddah.

President Joe Biden disembarks from Air Force One at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on July 15, 2022.
President Biden disembarks from Air Force One at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on July 15, 2022.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
President Joe Biden appears to stare down during his arrival at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in the Saudi Arabia.
President Biden appears to stare down during his arrival at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in the Saudi Arabia.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
President Joe Biden is welcomed by Saudi Arabia’s delegation following his trip from Israel.
President Biden is welcomed by Saudi Arabia’s delegation following his trip from Israel.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
President Joe Biden greets Saudi Arabian leaders after landing at the King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Biden greets Saudi Arabian leaders.
Reuters
President Joe Biden’s meeting in Saudi Arabia comes amid record high gas prices in the US.
Biden’s meeting in Saudi Arabia comes amid record-high gas prices in the US.
Reuters
President Joe Biden greets Saudi Arabian leaders after landing at the King Abdulaziz International Airport.
President Biden greets Saudi Arabian leaders after landing at the King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Reuters
Late Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in a press conference in 2014.
Late Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in a press conference in 2014.
MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images

Biden on Thursday also ducked a press conference question about Khashoggi.

“With regard to the question you asked me, my views on Khashoggi have — they’ve been absolutely, positively clear.  And I have never been quiet about talking about human rights,” Biden said.

The evasive answer recalled then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s claims that Biden didn’t mention the US wanting information on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic during a 3 1/2-hour virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping last year because Xi already knew Biden wanted transparency.

Participants display placards after unveiling a new street sign for Jamal Khashoggi Way outside of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, June 15, 2022 in Washington. As U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday, July 15, 2022, the prince's reputation as a brazen leader whose rise to power coincided with a sweeping crackdown on critics will likely cast a shadow on the meeting.
Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was recently honored with a street sign with his name outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC, on June 15, 2022.
AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File
Air Force One lands at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Air Force One lands at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Reuters
In this file handout photo provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on December 14, 2021, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh.
The US accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of ordering Jamal Khashoggi’s hit job.
BANDAR AL-JALOUD/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP via Getty Images

Biden later claimed to The Post that he did raise the matter with Xi, but that his staff were unaware because they weren’t in the room.

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