United States (US) President Joe Biden on Friday fist bumped Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he arrived for talks aimed at repairing the relationship between the US and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. and shared a fist bump. Biden is in Saudi Arabia for a Summit with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Council (GCC) countries plus Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan.

In a brief press conference following his closed-door meeting with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Biden told reporters that he discussed journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder among other things.

Saudi Arabia opens airspace for Israel:


“The Saudis will open their airspace to all civilian carriers. That is a big deal. A big deal. Not only symbolically, but substantively, it’s a big deal. It means Saudi airspace is now open to flights to and from Israel. This is the first tangible step in the path of what I hope will eventually be a broader normalisation of relations.”

On Yemen:

“We agreed to work together to deepen and extend the Yemen ceasefire. And you know there’s been — there’s carnage been in Yemen of late. And it’s been in place more than three months, resulting in the most peaceful period in Yemen in seven years.”

“We further agreed to pursue a diplomatic process to achieve a wider settlement in Yemen. The Saudi — and Saudi leadership also committed to continue to facilitate the delivery of food and humanitarian goods to civilians. In this context, we discussed Saudi Arabia’s security needs to defend the Kingdom, given very real threats from Iran and Iran’s proxies.”

Saudi investment in US-led technology:

“We concluded several new arrangements to better position our nations for the coming decades. Saudi Arabia will invest in new US-led technology to develop and secure reliable 5G and 6G networks, both here and in the future, in developing countries to coordinate with the Partnership for Global Initiative — the Global Infrastructure and Investment, which I put together at the G7. This new technology solution for 5G, called Open RAN, will outcompete other platforms, including from China.”

New cooperation on energy security:

“Saudi Arabia will also partner with us on a far-reaching clean energy initiative focused on green hydrogen, solar, carbon capture, nuclear, and other projects to accelerate the world’s clean energy transition and to help the US clean energy industry set global standards.”

“And fifth, we had a good — we had a good discussion on ensuring global energy security and adequate oil supplies to support global economic growth. And that will begin shortly. And I’m doing all I can to increase the supply for the United States of America, which I expect to happen. The Saudis share that urgency, and based on our discussions today, I expect we’ll see further steps in the coming weeks.”

Khashoggi Murder:

“With respect to the murder of Khashoggi, I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think of it now. And it was exactly — I was straightforward and direct in discussing it. I made my view crystal clear. I said very straightforwardly: for an American President to be silent on an issue of human rights, is this consistent with — inconsistent with who we are and who I am? I’ll always stand up for our values.”

While answering a question about Crown Prince’s response to hiss comments about Khashoggi, Biden said, “He basically said that he was not personally responsible for it. I indicated that he probably was. He said he was not personally responsible for it and he took action against those who were responsible. And — and we — and then I went on to talk more about how that dealing with any opposition to the — or criticism of the Saudi administration in other countries was viewed as, to me, a violation of human rights. There was no (inaudible).”

“The blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands,” a reported narrated these comments by Khashoggi’s wife about Biden’s visit and asked Biden that what he had to say about it.

“I’m sorry she feels that way. I was straightforward back then. I was straightforward today,” replied Biden.

“I didn’t come here to meet with the Crown Prince.  I came here to meet with the GCC and nine nations to deal with the security and the needs of the free world, and particularly the United States, and not leave a vacuum here, which was happening as it has in other parts of the world.”


He was also asked if he regrets calling the Saudis a “pariah” during his campaign.

“I don’t regret anything I said,” Biden responded.