President Joe Biden said at a briefing Friday afternoon in Saudi Arabia that he and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had agreed to significant new security measures during a highly anticipated meeting, touting the discussions as a success but offering few details about negotiations over Saudi oil output after he faced widespread criticism for greeting the crown prince, who has been accused of ordering the murder of a critic of the government, with a fist bump.
Biden said he immediately brought up the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi to start the meeting, adding he made it “crystal clear” to bin Salman that he believes he is responsible for ordering the killing.
The president said they discussed ensuring "adequate oil supplies" for the global market, but he did not specify whether the Saudis agreed to increase oil production, which was believed to be one of his primary goals for traveling to meet with Saudi Arabia, a country's government he has called a “pariah” over the killing of Khashoggi.
Biden said he is doing all he can to "increase oil supply for the United States" and vowed gas prices will continue to drop in the US, in part because of Friday's discussions.
In terms of security, Biden said keeping Saudi Arabia safe from “very real threats from Iran and Iran's proxies" was a major point of dialogue, along with the extension of a ceasefire in the conflict in neighboring Yemen and further normalizing Saudi relations with Israel through moves like opening airspace to israeli flights.
Biden also said US troops will leave Tiran Island in the Red Sea for the first time in more than 40 years, opening up the land for Saudi development.
The president laughed off a question about the controversial fist bump.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Credit: www.forbes.com /