Biden says US would use force as ‘last resort’ to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons
President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East came to an end with yet more controversy after it emerged that an American lawyer who previously represented Jamal Khashoggi had been detained in the UAE.
US citizen Asim Ghafoor was detained at Dubai airport on Thursday while travelling to Istanbul for a family wedding and is now being held in a detention facility on charges related to an in absentia conviction for money laundering. Mr Ghafoor had no prior knowledge of any conviction, a human rights group said.
On Saturday, Mr Biden met with UAE President Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and invited him to come to the US for a visit before the year is out.
The UAE president was one of multiple Middle Eastern leaders Mr Biden met in Saudi Arabia on Saturday before leaving aboard Air Force One.
New details also emerged about Friday’s controversial meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the man US intelligence found responsible for ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
When Mr Biden confronted MBS about the killing – after a friendly fist-bump – he denied the accusation and fired back about the US’s own controversies.
Biden poses for ‘family photo’ with Saudi Crown Prince MBS
President Joe Biden posed for a “family photo” with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, just hours after the pair exchanged harsh words over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The president stood shoulder to shoulder with the crown prince, known as MBS, along with other Middle East leaders on Saturday, before he boarded Air Force One and left the region.
In the photos, Mr Biden stood with his hands clasped in front of him with MBS to his right. At one point, the two leaders appeared to exchange words.
They were joined for the photo call by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa; Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi; Jordan’s King Abdullah II; Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani; Kuwait’s Crown Prince Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah; Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhemi; United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Asaad bin Tariq al-Said, a special representative for the Sultan of Oman.
The so-called “family photo” comes after Friday’s meeting between Mr Biden and MBS where the US president said he confronted the Saudi crown prince over his role in Khashoggi’s death.
The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:
Biden administration officials forced to defend the president’s decision to meet with MBS after he vowed to make Saudi Arabia a ‘pariah’ on the 2020 campaign trail
Rachel Sharp17 July 2022 05:00
MBS fires back at Biden with America’s own controveries
Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fired back at Joe Biden with America’s own controversies when the US president confronted him over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it has been revealed.
A source familiar with Friday’s controversial meeting between the two…