Senate

Graham says he had ‘very productive’ meeting with Saudi crown prince

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday that he had a “very productive” meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, noting that he looks forward to tightening the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

“I just had a very productive, candid meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince and his senior leadership team,” Graham said in a tweet. “The opportunity to enhance the U.S.-Saudi relationship is real and the reforms going on in Saudi Arabia are equally real.”

Graham had previously criticized the crown prince in 2018 after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Istanbul, saying at the time that he felt “betrayed” by Saudi Arabia. He also criticized the crown prince’s statement on Khashoggi’s death, calling his explanation a “lie” and “manufactured.”

“If the prince truly loved his country he would not have put his country in this position,” Graham said at the time. “If he truly respected the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia he would have never thought of this.”

The South Carolina Republican also said at the time that he would support sanctions against Saudi Arabia and said that the Saudi crown prince’s behavior demonstrated “disrespect for the relationship and made him, in my view, beyond toxic.”

In his most recent post, Graham changed his rhetoric, saying he wants to work with the Biden administration and across the aisle in Congress to “take the U.S.-Saudi relationship to the next level.”

He added that a stronger relationship would be a “tremendous economic benefit to both countries and bring much-needed stability to a troubled region.”

Graham also said that he told the crown prince how he appreciated the country buying a set of Boeing 787s. Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase up to 121 airplanes from Boeing last month in a deal that was praised by their Biden administration and worth $37 billion.

“I also expressed deep appreciation to the Kingdom for purchasing $37 billion worth of Boeing 787s — which are made in South Carolina — for the new Saudi airline,” he said in the tweet. “Investments like this are game changers.”

Tags Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Jamal Khashoggi Lindsey Graham Lindsey Graham Mohammed bin Salman Prince saudi arabia U.S.-Saudi Arabia relations

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