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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Biden raises the Khashoggi murder with crown prince

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US President Joe Biden raised the issue of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Biden is in Saudi Arabia to rebuild relations, after previously promising to make the country a “pariah” over its human rights record.

He said he had made it clear the killing in 2018 was “vitally important to me and the United States”, while also reaching agreements on other issues.

Biden’s visit has been criticised as validating the Saudi government following the murder of the US-based Saudi dissident journalist Khashoggi in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was accused by US intelligence agencies of approving the murder, an accusation he has consistently denied.

Biden said the crown prince claimed he was “not personally responsible” for the death, the Associated Press reported. “I indicated I thought he was,” the president replied.

Biden also announced Saudi Arabia will be opening its airspace to aircraft flying to and from Israel, which was previously banned.

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