Biden news today: Jamal Khashoggi’s US lawyer arrested in the UAE

Biden says the US will use force as a “last resort” to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons

President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East ended with more controversy after it emerged that a US lawyer who had previously represented Jamal Khashoggi was being held in the United Arab Emirates.

US citizen Asim Ghafoor was detained at Dubai Airport on Thursday while traveling to Istanbul to attend a family wedding, and is now being held in a detention facility on charges related to a conviction in absentia for money laundering. A rights group said Mr. Ghafoor had no prior knowledge of any convictions.

On Saturday, Biden met UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and invited him to come to the United States for a visit before the end of the year.

The president of the United Arab Emirates was one of several Middle East leaders Biden met in Saudi Arabia on Saturday before departing on Air Force One.

New details also emerged about Friday’s controversial meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the man whom US intelligence found responsible for ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

When Biden confronted Mohammed bin Salman about the murder – after his fist collided – he denied the accusation and responded to the American controversies.

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Mohammed bin Salman says Saudi Arabia can’t produce more oil

Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia cannot significantly increase its oil production, after President Joe Biden met with the crown prince in efforts to tackle extremely high gas prices in the United States.

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in the Gulf Cooperation Council on Saturday that his oil-rich country was almost at the limit of its oil production and could not produce more than 13 million barrels per day.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, Saudi Arabia currently produces about 10.2 million barrels of crude oil per day.

His comments come after Biden told reporters that Mohammed bin Salman had agreed to boost his oil production – a move that would lower gas prices for Americans – during their controversial meeting on Friday.

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Israel fires rockets hours after Biden left

The Israeli army fired rockets across the Gaza Strip hours after President Joe Biden left the country.

On Saturday morning, Israel targeted what it said was a Hamas military site early on, bombing an underground compound containing raw materials used in rocket production.

Israeli officials said they launched the strike in response to two rocket attacks at night, which sounded sirens but caused casualties or damage.

Hours earlier, Biden had visited Israel and the Palestinian territories.

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Biden poses for a “family photo” with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

President Joe Biden took a “family photo” with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, just hours after they exchanged harsh words over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The president stood alongside the crown prince, known as MBS, alongside other leaders in the Middle East on Saturday, before boarding Air Force One and leaving the region.

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In the photos, Biden stood with his hands clasped in front of him and Mohammed bin Salman to his right. At one point, the two leaders seemed to exchange words.

They were joined on the phone call by the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. King Abdullah II of Jordan; Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Kuwaiti Crown Prince Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Asaad bin Tariq Al Said, a special representative of the Sultan of Oman.

The so-called “family photo” comes after Friday’s meeting between Biden and Mohammed bin Salman, in which the US president said he confronted the Saudi crown prince over his role in the Khashoggi murder.

independentRachel Sharp has the full story:

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Mohammed bin Salman responds to Biden with American criticism

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s response to Joe Biden was revealed by America’s controversy when the US President confronted him over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A source familiar with the controversial meeting between the two leaders on Friday said CNN That the crown prince, known as MBS, responded by stirring up the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the incidents in which US soldiers abused prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The source said that Mohammed bin Salman told Biden that the two incidents reflected badly on the United States.

independentRachel Sharp has the full story:

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Mohammed bin Salman says Saudi Arabia can’t produce more oil

Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia cannot significantly increase its oil production, after President Joe Biden met with the crown prince in efforts to tackle extremely high gas prices in the United States.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in the Gulf Cooperation Council on Saturday that his oil-rich country was almost at the limit of its oil production and could not produce more than 13 million barrels per day.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, Saudi Arabia currently produces about 10.2 million barrels of crude oil per day.

His comments come after Biden told reporters that Mohammed bin Salman had agreed to boost his oil production – a move that would lower gas prices for Americans – during their controversial meeting on Friday.

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What happened to Jamal Khashoggi?

On October 2, 2018, Jamal Khashoggi – A Washington Post Journalist and outspoken critic of the Saudi government – was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

US officials said the murder was carried out by a team of intelligence agents linked to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – known as MBS – before dismembering his body with a bone saw.

The Saudi government initially denied any involvement in the killing before claiming that officers killed him by mistake while trying to extradite him to Saudi Arabia.

US intelligence agencies later concluded that Mohammed bin Salman had ordered his killing.

Mohammed bin Salman has always denied any responsibility — a denial he continued to hold when he met face-to-face with President Joe Biden on Friday.

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The American lawyer who defended Khashoggi is being held in the UAE

An American lawyer who defended murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been detained in the UAE, sparking further controversy over President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East.

Asim Ghafoor, a US citizen and civil rights attorney from Virginia, was arrested at Dubai airport on Thursday as he was traveling to Istanbul for a family wedding, according to the organization Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN).

The human rights organization said that Mr. Ghafoor is now being held in a detention center in Abu Dhabi on charges related to a conviction in absentia for money laundering.

Dawn said in a statement on Friday that Mr. Ghafoor had no prior knowledge of any convictions.

independentRachel Sharp has the full story:

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The White House says Russian officials have visited Iran to check on drones

Russian officials have visited Iran on at least two separate occasions to check out drones they are considering using in its war on Ukraine, according to the White House.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Saturday that US intelligence shows that a Russian delegation visited Kashan airport in central Iran on June 8 and July 5.

During the visit, the Iranian army showed them two Shahed 191 and Shahed 129 drones.

CNN The accidents were first reported along with the satellite image of the drones in flight at the airport while a transport plane of the Russian delegation was at the site.

Mr. Sullivan said the visits indicated “continued Russian interest” in purchasing “attack-capable” drones or unmanned aerial vehicles.

“We have information that the Iranian government is preparing to supply Russia with several hundred drones, including those with weapons capability,” Mr. Sullivan said.

We appreciate that an official Russian delegation recently received an offer of Iranian UAVs capable of attacking.

“We are releasing these photos taken in June showing Iranian drones that the Russian government delegation saw that day. This indicates a continuing Russian interest in having Iranian attack-capable drones.”

“As far as we know, this is the first time a Russian delegation has visited this airport to attend such a show,” he added.

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Ilhan Omar: Biden’s trip sends the ‘wrong message’

Representative Ilhan Omar criticized President Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, saying it sends the wrong message about the US position on human rights.

The Minnesota Democrat and band member, who is a refugee from Somalia, said Biden’s trip was due to his promise that he would make Saudi Arabia a “pariah country” after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We’re going to make them pay the price, and actually make them pariahs,” he said when he was running for president.

independentEric Garcia has the full story:

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Editorial: Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia is doomed from the start

Attempting to make peace in the Middle East is a task that American presidents usually leave until their second term. This was the pattern that Presidents Nixon, Clinton, and Obama set out with varying degrees of success.

Only Jimmy Carter was allowed to hope for victory over experience during his only term in office, with the historic Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel.

“Although Joe Biden was not explicitly there to follow in the footsteps of any of his predecessors in making peace, although only in his first term, and on his first visit to the region. He has been around for far too long, and has experienced so many disappointments, that he He risks the investment needed to make progress. This trip has more to do with Russia and Ukraine than with Israel and Palestine.”

Read the rest independentEditorial here:

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