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Oil Markets in Mind, Biden Greets Crown Prince With Fist Bump During Saudi Visit

The visit comes three years after Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah state" due to Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

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President Joe Biden greeted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday, 15 July, with a fist bump as the US government tries to ease tensions with Saudi Arabia and stabilise global oil markets.

The visit comes three years after Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah state" due to the murder of prominent dissident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

After he met with the Crown Prince, Biden told the media that Khashoggi's murder had been discussed. "He basically said that he was not personally responsible for it. I indicated that I thought he was."

"I was straightforward and direct in discussing it. I made my view crystal clear. I said very straightforwardly, for an American president to be silent on an issue of human rights is inconsistent with who we are and who I am," he added.

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Naturally, energy and oil was also discussed given that Saudi Arabia is a major global producer of oul. "Further steps," Biden added, were being taken to stabilise the market in the near future.

US Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman told the BBC that if Biden managed to convince Saudi Arabia about increasing its supply of oil to the market, then many lives would be saved.

"The price of oil means people die in poor countries. It raises the price of food and fertiliser and it means people die by the hundreds of thousands, not just from starvation but also from the disease the malnourished tend to acquire," he added.

(With inputs from BBC and Reuters.)

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Topics:  Mohammed bin Salman   Biden 

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