Biden slammed by Sanders for Saudi Arabia visit – Middle East Monitor

US President Joe Biden has been criticized at home for his visit to Saudi Arabia. Senator Bernie Sanders said it was “rewarding a dictatorship” and the visit should not have taken place given the Saudi leader’s “de facto involvement in the murder of a journalist”. Reuters has reported.

Biden punched Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman shortly after arriving in Jeddah. US intelligence agencies believe Bin Salman ordered the murder of Saudi-born journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

When asked if Biden should have made the visit, Sanders said ABC Sunday, “No, I don’t think so. You have a leader of the country who was implicated in the murder of a Washington Post journalist. I don’t think that type of government should be rewarded with a visit from the President of the United States.”

Khashoggi’s murder at the US consulate in Istanbul is a major point of contention between Washington and Riyadh. When he was a presidential candidate, Biden said the Kingdom should become a global pariah because of Khashoggi’s murder. Bin Salman denied ordering the murder.

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The journalist was a Saudi citizen close to the royal family before becoming a critic. He lived in voluntary exile in Virginia. Biden said on Friday he informed the prince that he held him responsible for the murder, but a Saudi official who attended the meeting said what happened between the two leaders was not what happened. Biden had described.

Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, which he previously said he would isolate internationally, was aimed at restoring relations between the two countries. Fuel prices have reached record highs this year, which has complicated the relationship. The United States has called on oil-producing countries to increase production to make up for the shortfall caused by Western sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

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Sanders was a candidate against Biden in the Democratic primaries to choose the party’s presidential nominee. He said the United States should impose an extraordinary profit tax on oil companies rather than improve relations with Saudi Arabia.

“Look, you have a family that is worth $100 billion, that questions democracy, that treats women like third-class citizens, that murders and imprisons its opponents,” he explained to ABC. “If this country believes in anything, we believe in human rights, we believe in democracy, and I just don’t believe we should have a warm relationship with a dictatorship like that.”

Edward N. Arrington