Biden says US would use force as ‘last resort’ to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons
Joe Biden has landed in Jeddah after making a historic flight as the first US president to fly direct from Israel to Saudi Arabia.
The visit includes a highly-anticipated meeting with the Saudi king and crown prince and comes amid tensions over energy supply, civil liberties, and security cooperation. Rep Ilhan Omar says the trip “sends the wrong message to everyone who cares about human rights”.
The trip is designed to reset the US ‘relationship with a country he once pledged to make a “pariah” on the world stage. Ahead of the visit, Israel and Saudi Arabia took an important step towards normalizing relations with an agreement on flights and Red Sea islands.
Before flying to Jeddah, the president attempted to repair ties with Palestinians as he reaffirmed US support for “two states for two peoples”. However, he acknowledged that the “ground is not ripe” to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks.
Mr Biden also announced just over $ 300m in aid to the Palestinians and commitments from Israel to roll out 4G in the West Bank and improve freedom of movement.
After meeting Palestinian authority president Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, Mr Biden also visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Top Democrat slams Biden fist bump
Democratic California Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has been outspoken regarding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, slammed the president’s fist bump with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
In rare criticism of the Joe Biden from a top House Democrat, Mr Schiff tweeted: “If we ever needed a visual reminder of the continuing grip oil-rich autocrats have on US foreign policy in the Middle East, we got it today.”
He added: “One fist bump is worth a thousand words.”
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 20:50
President Biden offers remarks on Saudi Arabia trip
President Biden is now giving a speech about his Saudi Arabia trip.
Watch his remarks live here, via the White House.
Josh Marcus15 July 2022 20:48
Washington Post publisher calls fist bump ‘shameful’
Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO of The Washington Posthas joined the chorus of condemnation President Joe Biden is facing for his fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 20:26
Saudi Press Agency posts photos of Biden talks
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 20:15
Biden to address reporters at 3.30pm ET
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 20:08
Biden departs palace after almost three hours
President Joe Biden has departed the Al Salam Royal Palace after two hours and fifty minutes of talks with Saudi leaders.
His next event will be tomorrow when he attends the Gulf Cooperation Council +3 summit, comprising of the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, plus Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt.
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 20:04
Biden fist bumps Saudi crown prince
The much-anticipated meeting between Joe Biden and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began shortly after the US president touched down in Jeddah on the next leg of his Middle East tour.
On arrival at the Al Salam Royal Palace on Friday, Mr Biden emerged from the “the Beast” and fist-bumped the crown prince who stood ready to greet him.
Joe Biden fist bumps Saudi crown prince on arrival in Jeddah
The greeting sparked controversy as the president begins the closed-door bilateral meeting
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 20:00
Saudi state TV broadcasts footage of Biden meeting King Salman
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 19:45
Why Biden change his mind about making Saudi Arabia a ‘pariah nation’?
Joe Biden could not have been any clearer.
The administration of Donald Trump, it was put to him by a questioner, had failed to punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. If anything, it had cemented its ties, with Trump bowing before the Saudi king to receive a heavy and pendulous gold necklace, the Collar of Abdulaziz al Saud no less.
If he was president, what would Biden do? Would he punish the Saudi leaders?
“Yes. And I said at the time, Khashoggi was in fact murdered and dismembered, and I believe on the order of the crown prince [Mohammed bin Salman]”He said with no small steel to his voice.
“I would make it very clear, we were not going to sell more weapons to them. We are going to make them pay the price, and make them in fact, the pariah that they are. ”
Andrew Buncombe reports for The Independent.
Why did Joe Biden change his mind about making Saudi Arabia as ‘pariah nation’
There was talk of complete change in US-Saudi relations, so what happened asks Andrew Buncombe
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 19:30
Khashoggi fiancé posts what she believes he would tweet today
Hatice Cengiz, the fiancé of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has tweeted out what she believes he would have posted having seen President Joe Biden meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Hey POTUS, Is this the accountability you promised for my murder? The blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands. ”
Oliver O’Connell15 July 2022 19:10