Bahrain Mirror- Exclusive: US President Joe Biden should not visit Saudi Arabia or meet its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who approved an operation to capture or kill murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to US intelligence, a leading Democratic lawmaker said on Sunday.
"The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the brutal murder of an American resident and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. For that - and many other human rights violations - he should be shunned. I would not meet with him or shake his hand. President Biden shouldn't either," Schiff tweeted.
Asked if Biden, who on Friday acknowledged the possibility he may visit Saudi Arabia soon, should go to the oil exporter and meet the crown prince, its de facto ruler, Representative Adam Schiff said: "In my view, no."
"I wouldn't go. I wouldn't shake his hand. This is someone who butchered an American resident, cut him up into pieces and in the most terrible and premeditated way," Schiff, who chairs the House of Representatives intelligence committee, told CBS.
"Until Saudi Arabia makes a radical change in terms of (its) human rights, I wouldn't want anything to do with him," Schiff said.
He also rejected arguments that Biden should visit Saudi Arabia to try to get it to increase oil production and lower U.S. gasoline prices, a problem for Biden and his fellow Democrats ahead of the November midterm congressional elections.
While saying he understood Saudi influence over oil prices, Schiff said he viewed that as "a compelling argument" for the United States to wean itself off oil "so we don't have despots and murderers calling the shots."
Biden told reporters that he does not yet have direct plans to make a trip to Saudi Arabia but if he does it would be to try to advance Middle East peace prospects. "There is a possibility that I would be going to meet with both the Israelis and some Arab countries at the time including I expect would be Saudi Arabia would be included in that if I did go. But I have no direct plans at the moment," he said.
Prospects for a Biden visit improved on Thursday when OPEC + agreed to increase oil output by 200,000 barrels in July and August and a ceasefire in the Yemen war was extended.
The White House took the rare step of recognizing the role played by bin Salman in extending the Yemen ceasefire.