RIYADH (Dispatches) – A source revealed Saudi frustration over the U.S. handling of Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman’s visit to Washington over the weekend at a time of strained ties with the United States.
The source told Saudi Leaks that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) had hoped that his brother’s visit and meetings with American officials would be a new page in the relationship with the U.S. administration.
The source added that the crown prince is frustrated with Washington’s handling of the visit, especially blocking the agenda and not giving him proper media coverage as well as the results of the meetings.
According to the source, the administration of President Joe Biden has insisted on rejecting a repeated request from Khalid bin Salman to open a direct channel of communication between the U.S. leader and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
It was noted that the Riyadh’s envoy failed to arrange meetings with member of the U.S. Congress for reasons ranging from the war in Yemen to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Saudi King’s son met with senior State Department, Defense Department and White House officials during the trip.
Prince Khalid became the highest-ranking visitor from the kingdom to arrive in Washington since Biden took office, marking a vast symbolic difference with the era of former U.S. president Donald Trump, whose first foreign visit was to Riyadh.
The trip comes almost six months into the administration of Biden. While Biden published an assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies that MbS personally ordered the murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018, he later cited national interests for not punishing the crown prince.