Biden fist-bumps MbS in push to reset ties

STORY: U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, hoping to tackle a host of issues from global oil production to confronting Iran - but almost immediately drew criticism for this moment: a fist-bump with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

U.S. intelligence believes the prince, also known as MbS, ordered the murder of the American-based Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. MbS denies involvement.

"With respect to the murder of Khashoggi, I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time, and what I think of it now."

In a news conference, Biden said he addressed the journalist's murder with the prince:

"He basically said he was not personally responsible for it. I indicated that I thought that he was."

... and insisted he'd never remain silent on the subject of human rights.

The visit to the kingdom was always going to be a delicate one: as a presidential candidate Biden called for Saudi Arabia to be made a "pariah" on the global stage - a sentiment he said he did not regret.

"I don't regret anything that I said. What happened to Khashoggi was outrageous."

But Biden now needs Riyadh - and other key oil producers - to raise output as global fuel costs soar.

"The Saudis share that urgency. And based on our discussions today I expect we'll see further steps in coming weeks."

Jeddah hosts a larger gathering of Arab leaders on Saturday.

Biden will discuss energy security with leaders of Gulf oil producers and hopes to see more action by OPEC+ to boost output.

But U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters there were unlikely to be any bilateral announcements from the talks.

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