Biden greets Saudi crown prince with fist bump ahead of high stakes talks

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Jul 15 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden exchanged a fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shortly after arriving here Friday on the last leg of his first official tour of the Middle East since taking office.

The crown prince, commonly known as MBS, was waiting outside Al Salam Royal Palace in Jeddah when the car carrying Biden from the airport pulled up.

After the greeting, the prince escorted the president into the palace.

Biden has received criticism for his planned meeting with MBS, who was identified by US intelligence as the mastermind of the 2018 murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

And the level of speculation about how Biden would interact with the prince prompted the White House to announce before the trip that the 79-year-old president would not shake hands with any foreign leaders as a precaution against Covid-19.

Biden has not said whether he would bring up the Khashoggi murder in his meeting with the defacto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

The leaders are expected to discuss human rights and oil production, according to the White House.

The murder of Khashoggi sparked international outrage and in his 2020 election campaign, Biden called the Saudi government a “pariah” for its role in the killing of the Washington Post columnist. EFE bpm/mp/dr

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