Human rights violations overwhelmed international comments on US President Joe Biden’s visit next month to Saudi Arabia and his first meeting with King Salman and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Before the visit, the White House stated that the US administration does not condone the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the order of Mohammed bin Salman, who has long tried to close the file.
The White House stated that Biden had issued an extensive report from the intelligence community regarding the Khashoggi assassination about holding the Crown Prince directly responsible for the crime.
The White House confirmed that the process of controlling relations with Saudi Arabia includes human rights issues, something Biden will raise and plans to do.
The Guardian newspaper reported that Democrats in the US Senate had raised concerns about Biden’s decision to travel to Saudi Arabia, objecting to the country’s human rights record.
Republican Senator John Thune stated, “there are problems and concerns about Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, and I hope that Biden will focus on American energy only, and he will not have to deal with bin Salman.”
While a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tim Kaine said that “Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia is a very bad idea, and there is a stain of his blood that has not been cleansed.”
“The main issue in the world now is authoritarianism, and we should not sit with the killer who killed Khashoggi, and we should not meet bin Salman.”
Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin said, “I have concerns about Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia. I think the Saudi government does not share our values. The Khashoggi incident is an international incident of historic proportions, which I cannot turn around.”
As Congressional Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden asserted, “America cannot value Saudi oil more than the blood of Jamal Khashoggi. Embracing tyranny makes us more vulnerable to the whims of tyrants, who will always prioritize unrestricted power over the rule of international law or American justice.”
The Chairman of the Congressional Finance Committee, Ron Wyden, called on President Biden to discuss “Bin Salman’s bad human rights record” during his next meeting and to hold Saudi citizens accountable for crimes before escaping from American justice.
The US senator told Kabir, “I have real concerns about repairing relations with bin Salman, in the absence of some real commitments to achieve justice for political opponents in Saudi Arabia and families who were already targets of the horrific crackdown.”