Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Biden bump fists as they begin meetings in Jeddah.
Saudi Press Agency/AP
U.S. President Joe Biden, became the first POTUS to fly from Israel to Saudi Arabia; after he touched down Jeddah on Friday.
In continuance of a five-day trip to the middle aast, Biden arrived the oil-rich nation and was greeted by Mecca’s governor, Prince Khalid bin Faisal, and Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., Princess Reema bint Bandar, before being ushered to a limousine via a lavender carpet. Next stop was the royal palace of 86-year-old King Salman.
With tension looming amongst the dignitaries, President Biden and Crown Prince Mohammed looked to amend wavering ties—greeting each other with a fist bump had sparked controversy. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also remained uneasy with the POTUS; who has decided against conversing with him due to stances on human rights, and the killing of U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
The recent bane of increased oil prices and Iran’s intention of purchasing a nuclear weapon, seemed to sink deeper than any lost love between both leaders.
Saudi Arabia also look to revigorate its relationship with the United States, with potential investment towards its economic growth.
The meeting held at the royal palace on Friday, with journalists being denied access to the room. A video was however released showing Biden exchanging pleasantry with the Saudi Arabian king. It was succeeded by a broader sit-down with advisers, as Biden and Prince Mohammed sat at opposite ends.
Recall that the U.S. released damning intelligence linking the crown prince to Khashoggi’s murder. The reports led to a downward spiral of the relationship between the United States and the middle-east nation.
Biden will end his stay at Saudi Arabia after a Saturday meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Leaders of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan will also be in attendance.