Khashoggi killing: US also made similar mistakes, MBS tells Biden
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman has told US President Joe Biden that Saudi Arabia has acted to prevent a repeat of mistakes such as the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and that the United States had also made mistakes, especially in Iraq, a Saudi official said.
Biden said on Friday he told Prince Mohammed he held him responsible for the murder of Washington Post journalist Khashoggi, shortly after he exchanged a punch with the kingdom's de facto ruler.
"The kingdom has taken every measure to avoid similar mistakes in the future," the crown prince told Biden.
The crown prince has denied any responsibility for Khashoggi's murder.
The Saudi official, in a statement sent to Reuters about Friday's conversation between the two leaders, said the crown prince said trying to impose certain values by force on other countries could backfire .
Biden, who landed in Saudi Arabia on Friday on his first trip to the Middle East as president, is hosting a summit with six Gulf states and Egypt, Jordan and Iraq on Saturday while downplaying his meeting with the Prince Mohammad. This meeting sparked criticism in his country regarding human rights violations.
Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah" on the world stage over the 2018 killing of Khashoggi, but ultimately decided that US interests dictate improving relations with the world's top oil exporter and the Arab power.
"In the same year, similar regrettable incidents took place and other journalists were killed in other parts of the world," the crown prince said. "The United States also made a number of mistakes like the Abu Ghraib prison incident in Iraq and others.
Prince Mohammed, known as MbS, also spoke about the murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during an Israeli raid in the West Bank.
All the countries of the world, especially the United States and the kingdom, share values on which they agree and have others on which they do not agree, according to the press release quoted by MbS.
"However, trying to impose these values by force could have the opposite effect, as has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the United States has failed," the statement said.
Washington has softened its stance on Saudi Arabia since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, triggering one of the world's worst energy supply crises.
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told reporters that the two countries had moved on.