|Joe Biden spoke to King Salman after reading a forthcoming report into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Photo by= Getty Images)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] US President Joe Biden talked over the phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia as he seeks to put relations with America's old ally on a new footing. BBC said He "affirmed the importance" the US "places on universal human rights and the rule of law", the White House said.
Mr. Biden made the call after reading a forthcoming US report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report is expected to implicate the king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He denies involvement. The White House says Mr. Biden will "recalibrate" the relationship with Saudi Arabia. Mr. Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, pursued closer ties with Saudi Arabia. There’s no mention of Khashoggi by name in the White House statement.
During the call, the White House said Mr. Biden "affirmed the importance the United States places on universal human rights and the rule of law". He also "noted positively" the recent release of several Saudi-American activists and prominent Saudi women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul. The two leaders also discussed "the longstanding partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia", and the threat posed to Saudi Arabia by pro-Iranian groups. Mr. Biden told King Salman "he would work to make the bilateral relationship as strong and transparent as possible", the statement said.