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As President Biden announced a July trip to Saudi Arabia, which he declared a “pariah” state during the 2020 election, new the White House National Security Council official John Kirby told Fox News the president will not be shy about discussing human rights concerns.

During his presidential campaign, Biden criticized the Saudi royals over allegations surrounding the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, in response to a question about President Trump’s warmer relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud.

Kirby told “The Story” Biden is attending the Gulf Cooperation Council-plus-three meetings in Riyadh, but will indeed have a bilateral meeting with the ruling family.

“There’s a lot on the agenda bilaterally between us and Saudi Arabia, which is a key strategic partner in the region,” he said, pointing to the Yemeni war and oil production.

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
(AP)

“There’s enough going on in the region that this is a good time for the president to go…  Clearly, oil production will be on the agenda, as will climate change, as will counterterrorism, as will Iran.”

Host Martha MacCallum, while noting Americans may instead want to hear Biden speak more about ramping up U.S. oil production than seeking export guarantees, replayed the clip wherein Biden condemned the Saudis.

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Biden criticized the Saudi royals over allegations surrounding the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi,

Biden criticized the Saudi royals over allegations surrounding the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi,
(AP)

“Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered. And I believe [at] the order of the crown prince. And I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them — We were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are,” Biden said in 2019.

“There’s very little social, redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia.”

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Then President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office

Then President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office
(AP)

Kirby replied he “fully expects” Biden to speak with bin Salman, and that his foreign policy is always led by the Democrat’s values.

“[A]ll around the world, when the president meets with leaders and counterparts, he’s not afraid, nor will he ever shy away from, talking about our concerns over human rights,” Kirby said.

Biden will also visit Israel, as well as the West Bank where he will reportedly meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

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