On Friday, President Joe Biden met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) using a celebratory fist bump in Jeddah.
The president is visiting Saudi Arabia to discuss pumping more oil to help him out of the energy crisis swamping the United States right now, but made a point not to shake the prince’s hand.
Recall, Biden previously called for making Saudi Arabia “a Pariah” after a US intelligence report highlighted that MBS was behind the slaying of Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey at a Saudi consulate.
To stave off admitting that he was trying to avoid a handshake, Biden put out a press statement before making the trip saying that he would not be shaking hands because of pandemic, according to ABC.
“We’re going to try to minimize contact as much as possible,” White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, said on Wednesday.
Despite this, he was pictured shaking hands with Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Israel and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s very obvious he really does not want to be pictured shaking hands with the Prince.
To make sure to embarrass him, the Saudi Government blasted the photo op on their public channels showing the two touching hands.
The president pledged during his Democratic debate while running for President that he would not sell any weapons to Saudi Arabia in order to make them “pay the price” for killing Jamal Khashoggi. Now, he is being forced to meet face to face with them to ask for their help. It’s a compromising position.
“I would make it very clear we were not going to in fact sell more weapons to them,” Biden said. “We were going to in fact make them pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are.” Biden also said there is “very little social redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia,” and, in reference to Yemen, said he would end “end the sale of material to the Saudis where they’re going in and murdering children.”
Journalists noted that Biden was treated differently than former President Trump when arriving at the airport and only got a 2 minute greeting.
Later in the meeting, both Biden and MBS were asked about him being called “a pariah” and they both ignored it.
Biden really got embarrassed there. Not shaking hands looks even more silly. What does this accomplish? Hopefully, he can lower the price of oil there, but as we’ve previously reported, they don’t have a lot of production capabilities left. Do you think Biden is doing a good job on his foreign trip?