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Prince of Saudi Arabia mocks Biden for showing more concern for Khashoggi than for Shireen Abu Akleh

Joe Biden’s unwillingness to criticize Israel for the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh was used by Mohammed bin Salman to divert attention away from the Saudi execution of Jamal Khashoggi.

SAUDI CROWN PRINCE Mohammed bin Salman reportedly accused President Joe Biden of hypocrisy during their meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday by asking why the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi seemed to matter more to him than the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh.

Biden, who said during his campaign for the presidency in 2019 that Khashoggi had been “murdered and dismembered … I believe on the order of the crown prince,” told reporters that he had confronted Crown Prince Mohammed over the killing of the dissident Saudi journalist at the start of their meeting this week.

The prince contrasted Biden’s concern over the brutal killing of Khashoggi, a longtime resident of the U.S., with his failure to hold the Israeli government responsible for the death of Abu Akleh, an American citizen who was shot — in accordance with witnesses and visual investigations — from an Israeli military convoy, according to a Saudi official who spoke to the state broadcaster Al Arabiya.

A Saudi official informed Ayman Mohyeldin of MSNBC that Crown Prince Mohammed, better known as MBS, denied ordering the murder, “much as George Bush did not authorize the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.” Then, the crown prince reportedly questioned why the death of Jamal Khashoggi was being politicized “with so many U.S. journalists slain, missing, or jailed,” including Shireen Abu Akleh, according to Mohyeldin’s source. Earlier on Friday, Biden was confronted with images of Shireen Abu Akleh at a news conference in Bethlehem, West Bank; her colleagues in the press corps had reserved a seat for a photograph of the renowned Palestinian American journalist, and several wore T-shirts with a drawing of her face above the words “Justice for Shireen.”

Abu Akleh’s family requested that Biden meets with them on his visit to the area in a letter sent to the White House last week. They also expressed their disappointment that the US does not appear to be pressing Israel to launch a reliable criminal inquiry into her killing. Anthony Blinken, the secretary of state, has instead extended an invitation to the family to visit Washington.

Standing next to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the news conference in Bethlehem, Biden described Abu Akleh’s passing as a tragedy for the United States as well and vowed to “insist on a complete and open accounting of her death.” However, many detractors felt that his inability to pronounce Abu Akleh’s last name correctly called into question his sincerity.

Mahnur Mehfooz
Written By

Mahnur is MS(development Studies)Student at NUST University, completed BS Hons in Eng Literature. Content Writer, Policy analyst, Climate Change specialist, Teacher, HR Recruiter.

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