Biden offers Saudis the gesture they needed. However he returns to Washington with little in hand

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Much speculated about, the image itself, from a camera position that was denied to the press traveling with Biden, was even more powerful than all the conjecture that preceded it. Like the winner of a long-distance race, the Crown Prince, known commonly as MBS, snatched glory — and reputational redemption — at the finish line.

But that image of the fist bump was what the Saudis wanted — a reputational boost putting MBS in pole position in a region where rivalries and power plays are a fact of life.

Biden's fist bump with MBS 'a win' for US President: Saudi foreign minister

“I see the image as a win for President Biden, I think, because he is engaging with one of the key partners of the United States, in the region, and beyond. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a key player in regional stability,” he told CNN in an exclusive interview.

Biden came to the desert kingdom first, rather than other energy-rich Gulf kingdoms such as the United Arab Emirates or Qatar, and did business with the de facto leader of the nation he on the campaign trail vowed to make a…

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