Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency William Burns secretly visited Saudi Arabia in mid-April this year and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The publication quotes an anonymous official source in the United States, according to which “the tone of the conversation was much better than during previous visits by US government officials.”
Recall that earlier the same publication reported on a visit to Saudi Arabia by US national security adviser Jake Sullivan, which ended in disaster for the American side.
The talks marked the first meeting between a Saudi de facto ruler and a senior administration official, Joe Biden. Both during the campaign and after his election, President Biden has been critical of the kingdom’s lack of respect for human rights.
The friendly atmosphere in which the conversation began disappeared when Sullivan mentioned the massacre of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi. According to American intelligence, he was killed by agents of the Saudi intelligence services on the personal instructions of Prince Muhammad.
According to the publication, the prince fumed and started yelling at the American emissary. Muhammad said that he did not intend to discuss this issue with anyone, which in general should be left in the past. He also said that the US may forget about requests to increase oil production in order to reduce the price of energy.
It should be noted that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States repeatedly appealed to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with a request to compensate for the possible loss of Russian oil and gas. This would make it possible to tighten sanctions against Russia. But the Arab allies of the United States refused.