Saudi crown prince says "do not care" if Biden misunderstands him - The Atlantic

  • World
  • Thursday, 03 Mar 2022

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Gulf Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 14, 2021. Bandar Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said he does not care whether U.S. President Joe Biden misunderstood things about him and said the U.S. leader should be thinking about America's interests, in an interview to The Atlantic published Thursday.

The de facto ruler of the world's top oil exporter, known as MbS, also warned the United States not to interfere in the internal affairs of the absolute monarchy.

"Simply, I do not care,” he said. It is up to Biden "to think about the interests of America”, he said when asked whether Biden misunderstood things about him.

“We don’t have the right to lecture you in America,” he said. “The same goes the other way.”

While the crown prince enjoyed close relations with former President Donald Trump, Biden has taken a tougher stance on the kingdom's human rights record and the Yemen war in which a Saudi-led coalition is engaged since early 2015.

Biden's administration released a U.S. intelligence report implicating the crown prince in the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which MbS denies, and pressed for the release of political prisoners.

Prince Mohammed told the Atlantic that Riyadh's aim is to maintain and strengthen its "long, historical" relationship with America.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Samia Nakhoul; Editing by David Goodman)

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