Khashoggi killing: Arab allies back Saudi rejection of U.S report

Ruben Hill
Марта 3, 2021

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"Biden seeks to recalibrate, not rupture ties with Riyadh over journalist's murder".

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Hiatt joined ABC's George Stephanopoulos to address the USA intelligence community's conclusion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's murder back in 2018.

A declassified US intelligence report released on Friday assessed that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud approved an operation to "capture or kill" Khashoggi in 2018, which was "completely rejected " by the government of Saudi Arabia, saying the report contained "inaccurate information and conclusions".

But the United States stopped short of applying sanctions against the 35-year-old de facto leader, known by his initials MBS.

"It is essential that the Crown Prince, who ordered the brutal murder of a blameless and innocent person, should be punished without delay", Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz said in a statement posted on her official Twitter account in English and Arabic.

A USA intelligence report on Friday found the prince had approved the killing, and Washington imposed sanctions on some of those involved - but not Prince Mohammed himself.

"The calculation for him is he's paid a price and the release of the report last week was a good step forward, but it's not a sufficient price", Hiatt said.

The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Prince Mohammed, also fits a pattern of "the crown prince's support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad", it added.

The Saudi government, which initially said it had no information on Khashoggi, says it accepts responsibility for the killing but casts it as a rogue operation that did not involve the prince.

Mr. Biden had pledged during his campaign to make the kingdom a "pariah" after it got a free pass under Mr. Trump, but observers say he is instead adopting a middle path.

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