AccordingOn Friday, the U.S. State Department published an intelligence report that held Saudi Arabia crown prince Bin Salman accountable for the murder of journalist Khashoggi. Two days later, the U.S. State Department announced that it will provide more information Monday, regarding actions against Saudi Arabia.
In 2018, Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Turkey. According to the U.S. intelligence report, prince Bin Salman was behind the terrifying murder.
After publishing the intelligence report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that the United States restricted visas for 76 Saudis who are “believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing.”
The previously classified intelligence report stated that prince Mohammed Bin Salman approved the operation that led to the murder of Khashoggi. It continued that Bin Salman have total control over intelligence and security departments in the kingdom.
Nevertheless, the Biden administration disclosed Friday that the U.S. won’t penalize Bin Salman for the death of journalist Khashoggi. The White House argued that penalizing the crown prince will negatively impact the United States – Saudi cooperation in counterterrorism and Iran files.
Pres. Biden doesn’t intend to penalize Bin Salman
Pres. Biden said Saturday that his administration would make an announcement Monday regarding the U.S – Saudi relations. Furthermore, a White House official said that Monday’s announcement will clarify actions taken by the U.S. on Friday.
“The recalibration of relations with Saudi Arabia began on January 20th and it’s ongoing,” the official told NBC News. “The administration took a wide range of new actions on Friday. The President is referring to the fact that on Monday, the State Department will provide more details and elaborate on those announcements, not new announcements.”
Khashoggi was a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist. Prior to his assasination, Khashoggi criticized the Saudi royal family, alleging a history of corruption and oppression. On Oct. 2, 2018, Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and his body vanished since that moment. Khashoggi was lured under false pretense, suffocated and dismembered. Audio recordings documenting his final moments were made and released to the public.
Last week, Pres. Biden said that Bin Salman is not his counterpart and that he will only talk to King Salman instead. The announcement made by Biden suggests that his administration might follow a different diplomacy than that of ex-Pres. Trump.