Biden Denies Saudi Account of Khashoggi Murder Debate

July 17 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden was at odds with Saudi Arabia on Saturday during discussions at a bilateral summit over the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

US intelligence agencies believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the 2018 assassination of Khashoggi, a Saudi critic who was living in self-imposed exile in Virginia. The de facto Saudi ruler denies it.

Responding to reporters at the White House from his first Middle East trip as president, Biden denied the Saudi foreign minister’s account that he had not heard Biden blame Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of a Washington Post columnist who had been critical of his own country. Saudi Arabia.

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Asked if Secretary of State Adel al-Jubeir was telling the truth in describing the exchange between Biden and the crown prince, the president said “no.”

Zubair said the crown prince, known as MbS, told Biden that the kingdom had acted to prevent mistakes like Khashoggi’s murder from happening again, and that the United States had made a mistake. read more

The minister told Fox News on Saturday that he “didn’t hear a specific phrase” from Biden that accused the crown prince.

A Saudi official who attended the meeting said the exchange was not as described by President Biden and that Khashoggi was discussed “in an informal way” before the official meeting.

The official said he did not hear the president tell the crown prince that he was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder.

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Asked if he regretted exchanging the first bombshell with MbS on Friday, Biden replied: “Why don’t you talk about something important? I’m happy to answer an important question.”

(This story corrects to remove reference to Khashoggi as US citizen from second paragraph)

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Shivam Patel reports in Bangalore; Editing: William Mallard and Raisa Kasolowski

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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