ASV wants change in relations with Saudi Arabia, but not “breaking” that relationship, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Friday.
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Several hours before the President of the United States Joe Biden declassified the report responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Hashogi Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Blinken announced that the U.S. would ban foreign nationals threatening dissidents from entering and immediately ban visas from 76 Saudi citizens, including those involved in the Hashogi murder.
“What we have done with our actions is really not to break up the relationship, but to recalibrate it to make it more in line with our interests and our values,” Blinken told reporters.
A U.S. intelligence report released on Friday by the director of U.S. national intelligence concludes that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the operation that led to the killing of journalist Jamal Hashogi in 2018.
The report, which has been secret so far, is based on Central Intelligence Offices (CIA) and other intelligence services. It concluded that “the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has approved an operation in Istanbul to capture or kill journalist Jamal Hashogi.”
“Since 2017, the Crown Prince has had absolute control over the Kingdom’s security and intelligence organizations, so it is unlikely that Saudi Arabian officials would have carried out such an operation without the Crown Prince’s permission,” the report said.
Jamal Hashogi, a U.S.-based Washington Post journalist who criticized the Saudi regime, was killed on October 2, 2018, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he had arrived to get married to Turkey citizen Hatji Genghis the necessary documents.
Saudi Arabia initially denied knowing what had happened to Hashogi, but later claimed that the 59-year-old journalist at the consulate in Istanbul had lost his life in a fist fight until he finally admitted that the journalist had been killed in a premeditated murder.
Saudi prosecutors have denied that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the murder of Hashogi.
The Baiden administration announced a number of measures on Friday, including the imposition of sanctions on 76 Saudi citizens, but decided not to go against the 35-year-old crown prince in person.
“I think we also need to understand that this is bigger than any one person [attiecību] “Recalibration refers to the policies pursued by Saudi Arabia and the actions taken,” Blinken said in response to a question as to why the United States is not targeting the Crown Prince.