Biden's fist-bump with Saudi crown prince seen as undermining rights pledges

It took less than 24 hours in Saudi Arabia for US President Joe Biden to tarnish an image he has long cultivated: that of a fierce defender of human rights.

The life of any politician is dotted with campaign pledges that ultimately backfire, and for Biden that list now includes his 2019 vow to make the desert kingdom a “pariah” over its human rights record.

Similarly his solemn description, delivered last year on US Independence Day, of Washington’s role on the global stage: “We stand as a beacon to the world.”