Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Tuesday that plans for President Joe Biden to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he travels to the region next month are "an absolutely horrible idea."
Kaine told Meet the Press Now that he would meet with MBS "only after there was some accountability for his involvement" in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "That doesn't mean I wouldn't talk to the Saudi foreign minister, that doesn't mean I wouldn't meet with the King of Saudi Arabia ... but MBS has a blood stain all over his hands and out intel community and those of other countries have basically said that that's the case."
Biden is traveling to with Saudi Arabia as part of a trip to the Middle East next month, where Biden will also visit Israel and the West Bank.
The visit comes amid soaring gas and oil prices, and it is aimed in part at repairing relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, administration officials have said. In 2019, Biden referred to Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” state following the murder of Khashoggi.
While in Saudi Arabia, Biden will also meet with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which consists of leaders from Gulf nations and participate in other bilateral talks.