(CNS News) -- When asked whether it was appropriate for President Joe Biden to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said, “Well, I actually do,” and stressed that it is good to make contacts internationally in such a distressed world.
At the U.S. Capitol on July 13, CNS News asked Senator Feinstein, “Do you think it is appropriate for President Biden to be traveling to Saudi Arabia to visit the crown prince?”
She replied, “Well, I actually do. I think that the world is a distressed place and I think making contacts that can be helpful to your country is extraordinarily important. And I think the Saudis will appreciate the fact that he’s coming and I think it’s important. I mean, you can always find a reason not to do something.”
President Biden vowed to impose travel bans and sanctions on Saudi Arabia after the brutal killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to a U.S. intelligence report, Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in 2018 as part of a plan approved by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS. Khashoggi was a long-time critic of MSB’s rule.
After the report was released in 2021, Biden imposed sanctions on the people connected with the killing but not on the Crown Prince himself. Biden also said he would make Saudi Arabia known as a “pariah” to other nations.
President Biden’s decision to visit the Crown Prince this Friday and seek to improve relations with Saudi Arabia conveys a different message.
In his Washington Post commentary entitled, “Why I’m going to Saudi Arabia,” President Biden said he is pursuing American interests by seeking “a more secure and integrated Middle East,” negotiating over energy resources with Saudi Arabia because of the conflict in Ukraine, and ultimately looking for diplomacy over conflict.
Concerning the death of Khashoggi, Biden wrote that he “issued new sanctions, including on the Saudi Arabia’s Rapid Intervention Force involved in his killing, and issued 76 visa bans under a new rule barring entry into the United States for anyone found to be involved in harassing dissidents abroad.”
Biden went on to state that his administration would not tolerate threats to the United States. “My administration has made clear that the United States will not tolerate extraterritorial threats and harassment against dissidents and activists by any government.”