Biden's fist bump with MBS 'a win' for US President: Saudi overseas minister - CNN

the us President has confronted a backlash over the casual method he greeted the kingdom's de facto ruler on his arrival in Jeddah on Friday. Critics have pointed out the fist bump changed into inappropriate given US suspicions that the Crown Prince was accountable for the 2018 homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi -- and Biden's subsequent 2020 campaign trail pledge to turn Saudi Arabia into a "pariah".

but Saudi foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan played down the controversy in an interview with CNN's Nic Robertson hours after the President left Jeddah on Saturday.

"I see the image as a win for President Biden," bin Farhan said.

"He received out of it a meeting with a key chief in the place. He got out of it, I believe, reinvigoration of the strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and the U.S.."

Bin Farhan said it became "reasonably regular" that the leaders had exchanged "pleasantries", adding, "I have no idea why we're hung up on a fist bump."

Biden came to Jeddah in quest of solutions to one among his proper political complications at domestic -- sky-high gas expenses -- as diplomacy with Saudi Arabia within the middle East changed into viewed as probably the most few routes he could take to deliver down expenditures which are placing strain on tens of millions of american citizens. Bin Farhan said the Crown Prince become open to expanding Saudi Arabia's oil means -- within limits.

"essentially the most critical element within the Crown Prince's observation these days became that we need to have a balanced strategy towards our energy transition because the kingdom, whereas it be expanding its skill to 13 million barrels can't go past that," he talked about.

besides the fact that children, critics say Biden's talk over with has been overshadowed with the aid of lingering unease over human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia.

concerns over the optics of the travel were highlighted on Saturday as it emerged that once Biden had raised the matter of Khashoggi's killing, the Crown Prince replied via saying the USA had "made its personal errors". In selected, the Crown Prince referenced the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib penal complex following the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the may killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abbu Akleh within the occupied West financial institution as incidents that reflected poorly on the USA.

For its half, the White residence has defended Biden's use of the fist bump as a part of an effort to cut back physical contact amid the fast unfold of a new coronavirus variant, noting that Biden also fist-bumped a number of Israeli leaders before his arrival in Jeddah.

On returning to the White residence Saturday night, Biden seemed irritated when requested whether he regretted the greeting. "Why do not you guys discuss something that matters. i am chuffed to answer a question that concerns," he said.

The meeting between Biden and the Crown Prince become among the many most closely watched moments of Biden's landmark consult with to the center East, with the controversy distracting from probably the most other objects on the President's agenda -- together with discussions of Iran's nuclear ambitions.

before Biden's arrival, Saudi Arabia had been pressuring the USA to deliver safety guarantees if negotiations with Iran have been to fail. The ultimate circular of talks between the us and Iran resulted in a standstill.

In a statement following the assembly, the White house spoke of Biden had "affirmed the us' dedication to working with Saudi Arabia and different allies and companions within the middle East to combine and enhance security cooperation." 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In his interview with CNN's Nic Robertson, bin Farhan performed down any adjustments, claiming all six international locations of the Gulf Cooperation Council -- Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain -- had been unified in aiding "negotiations" with Iran.

He referred to Saudi Arabia wanted to get to the bottom of its alterations with Iran via diplomacy -- but was additionally working with the U.S. to build capacity to "look after in opposition t capabilities Iranian aggression."

"The Crown Prince's dialogue with President Biden focused on the way to handle the Iranian threat. And here, we noted, firstly, negotiations, however also inserting collectively sufficient power to incentivize the Iranians to return to the negotiating desk," bin Farhan mentioned according to a query on Israel considering the fact that a latest resort strike towards Iran to cease it from producing nuclear weapons.

"we're having discussions with Iran, as you comprehend, so is the UAE, so are our pals in Qatar, Kuwait, so all of us because the GCC collective are speaking to the Iranians as a result of we want to resolve our differences via communicate, we hope that the Iranians will respond in form," he introduced.

"We're working with the us to construct our means and (that of) others within the location ... to take care of ourselves against competencies Iranian aggression."

He brought: "We heard a commitment from President Biden to a sturdy defense of the dominion."

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