Saudi Crown Prince Implicated In Khashoggi Murder, US Finds

Yolanda Curtis
February 26, 2021

A White House readout of the call made no mention of the killing or the report.

Biden has ended American support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, but he has not moved to cut off military aid to an important Middle East ally and counterterrorism partner.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday Biden would only have communications with the 85-year-old Saudi king and said the declassified Khashoggi report was being readied for release and will come out soon.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in September 2019 said that he bears responsibility for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, "because it happened under my watch." the death sentence of the men who were convicted of Khashoggi's murder was commuted to 20 years in prison after Khashoggi's sons said they forgive their father's killer in May 2020.

"The president's intention, as is the intention of this government, is to recalibrate our engagement with Saudi Arabia", Psaki said Wednesday.

"The President told King Salman he would work to make the bilateral relationship as strong and transparent as possible", the statement said.


"The two leaders affirmed the historic nature of the relationship and agreed to work together on mutual issues of concern and interest".

The Kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, is controlled by the Saudi crown and is chaired by the crown prince, who is known as MBS.

"Joe Biden can not let this thing go", Harb said.

A United Nations expert says the report into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is critical for justice.

In this photo from November 16, 2018, members of Arab-Turkish Media Association and friends of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi hold posters showing images of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman and of Khashoggi, as they attend funeral prayers in absentia for him following his killing the previous month in the Saudi Arabia consulate, in Istanbul. Riyadh initially insisted that the journalist had left the building alive before eventually conceding - more than two weeks after the assassination - that he was killed.

The Saudi government maintains that Khashoggi was killed in a "rogue" operation without Prince Mohammed's prior knowledge.


The transfer was ordered by MBS in December 2017, less than a year before Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. The assessment, chiefly written by the Central Intelligence Agency, concluded that he had ordered the killing of Khashoggi, who was drugged and dismembered.

This will mean steering away from former president Donald Trump's reliance on Prince Mohammed and dealing directly with the king, the White House says.

It is understood the goal of the call was to brief King Salman of the contents of the report, which is due to be declassified imminently.

Although the contents of the intelligence report have already been widely reported in the United States, the Trump administration had refused to declassify it.

The CIA presented the White House with its assessment in 2018, but it did not appear to change Trump's friendly relations with Saudi Arabia and with bin Salman in particular.


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