On Sunday, Biden said, when asked if he regretted shaking hands with Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who a US assessment said had authorized the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “Why aren’t you talking about something important? I’m happy to answer an important question.” “.
Jean-Pierre said Biden was referring to “the policies discussed and the outcomes of the meetings held during his trip abroad.”
“He (Biden) understands how these interactions and relationships work, he has experience with that, and what is so important and so important, look, again, when he went to the Middle East, he was making sure From not having a vacuum for countries like Russia or China to step in, to making sure that we respond to Iran, to making sure he had talks not only with Saudi Arabia but with other leaders who were in the GCC +3 countries.”
She emphasized that what was discussed during the meetings was “about the interest of the Americans,” adding: “We’re talking about how important it is to make sure that we do well here locally, and that’s the focus of the president.”
The White House spokeswoman added: “Our thoughts are with Khadija Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancée, and his family.” The pain people are feeling, but he also wants to make sure that we’re talking about politics, that we’re talking about the agenda, that we’re talking about what happened and it will help the American public as well.”
“It was a fist for a second,” National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby told CNN on Monday of Biden’s handshake between Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The agenda presented in the leaders meeting room.
In an interview with CNN’s Victor Blackwell, John Kirby added: “There was no way the President was unwilling to greet their Crown Prince, who was hosting on behalf of the King, a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and was part of these bilateral discussions on Friday night in Saudi Arabia.” .
“Throughout this trip, while the president was receiving leaders from across the region, he greeted them all in different ways based on his personal relationships with him – some shook hands, some made fists, including in Israel, the first stop, so it wasn’t unusual.” To get the president confused sort of based on who he was meeting with at the moment, he was less concerned about greetings than about meetings, and the meetings in Saudi Arabia were important.”
Kirby said Biden’s meeting with the Saudi crown prince “has yielded results, and is likely to produce results in the future in the interest of the American people.”
He added that the US president “spoke to the emir about a range of our human rights concerns, including Americans who are being unjustly detained.”
Kirby once again defended Biden’s decision to travel to the region, telling CNN: “The president believes that if you’re going to make values and human rights the centerpiece of your foreign policy, which he does, the best way to advance those rights, to promote, protect and advance those values, means to actually travel. Go outside, talk to foreign leaders, be direct and frank in the room.”
“You can’t say values are important and then refuse to talk to people or make the case,” he added. “These aren’t easy conversations, but it’s important that you have them if I’m going to try to make a difference abroad.”
It is reported that the US President, when he arrived in Saudi Arabia, on Friday, shook hands with the Saudi Crown Prince outside the royal palace with a fist, rather than a handshake.
The White House stated that this was a precautionary measure from Covid, while there has been speculation about whether it was the president’s way of isolating himself from the crown prince accused of approving the Khashoggi murder.
And the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, had said that the pictures of the “fist” handshake between the Saudi Crown Prince and the US President, was a “win” for the latter.
And this came in an exclusive interview with the minister with his colleague Nick Robertson for CNN, hours after Biden left the kingdom, where he said: “I don’t know why we are stuck with a fist… the two leaders met, exchanged pleasantries, this is very normal.”