White House says Biden spoke to Saudi prince about Khashoggi
The White House insists that US President Joe Biden discussed the murder of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud at the very beginning of their meeting. This was stated at a briefing by the press secretary of the American administration, Karine Jean-Pierre, the broadcast was on the White House Twitter page.
“The President was asked this question, and he answered it directly. <…> So I will focus on what the president said when he was asked directly about it just recently, — she responded to a request to comment on reports from the Saudi side that there was no such conversation.
Biden visited Saudi Arabia in mid-July as part of a tour of the Middle East. There he held talks with the crown prince, whom, as he himself claimed, he made it clear that he was thinking about the murder.
“As for the murder of Khashoggi, I raised this issue at the very beginning of the meeting, making it clear what I thought about it then and what I think now, — said the head of the United States. Then Biden noted that he blamed Mohammed bin Salman for the death of a journalist.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who attended the meeting, told Fox News he “didn't hear that particular phrase.” Biden, in response to a journalist's question, later replied that al-Jubeir was telling a lie.
Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Until his death, he criticized the authorities of the kingdom. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the assassination order came from “the highest levels” Saudi government. Mohammed bin Salman has already acknowledged responsibility for the death of a journalist, but claimed that Khashoggi was killed without his knowledge. American intelligence believes that the crown prince personally approved the kidnapping and subsequent murder of the journalist. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies this.
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