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World Biden will not sanction MBS over Khashoggi's killing despite US report implicating the Saudi leader in the murder

22:34  26 february  2021
22:34  26 february  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

Biden administration releases report on Khashoggi's killing directly implicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

  Biden administration releases report on Khashoggi's killing directly implicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman The long-awaited report is indicative of Biden's move to drastically alter the dynamic between Washington and Riyadh after Trump."We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," said the report, provided by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

a close up of Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud wearing a hat: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 20, 2019. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters © Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 20, 2019. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters
  • The Biden administration announced new sanctions over Khashoggi's murder.
  • Saudi Crown Prince MBS is not targeted by the new sanctions.
  • The administration is also instituting a new visa restriction policy called the Khashoggi Ban.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The Biden administration will not sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over Jamal Khashoggi's 2018 murder despite the fact the Saudi leader was explicitly implicated in the killing in a declassified US intelligence assessment.

US focused on Saudi Arabia's 'future conduct' after intel report ties crown prince to Khashoggi death

  US focused on Saudi Arabia's 'future conduct' after intel report ties crown prince to Khashoggi death The United States is focused on Saudi Arabia's "future conduct" after rejecting sanctions against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a State Department spokesman. © Provided by Washington Examiner “We are very focused on future conduct, and that is part of why we have cast this not as a rupture but a recalibration,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Monday. “We are trying to get to the systemic issues underlying the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The Treasury Department on Friday unveiled sanctions against General Ahmed al-Asiri, former deputy head of the Saudi intelligence services, and the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force over connections to the Khashoggi killing.

"Those involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi must be held accountable. With this action, Treasury is sanctioning Saudi Arabia's Rapid Intervention Force and a senior Saudi official who was directly involved in Jamal Khashoggi's murder," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. "The United States stands united with journalists and political dissidents in opposing threats of violence and intimidation. We will continue to defend the freedom of expression, which is the bedrock of a free society."

Biden response to report on Khashoggi killing angers both Saudi Arabia and its critics

  Biden response to report on Khashoggi killing angers both Saudi Arabia and its critics The Biden administration's first test over what it promised would be a tough approach to Saudi Arabia has left both Riyadh and its critics unhappy.But after his administration released a declassified U.S. intelligence report last week blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the 2018 killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it didn’t quite work out that way.

But the administration will not sanction Prince Mohammed, known colloquially as "MBS," over concerns it would "rupture" the US-Saudi relationship, an administration official said, per Reuters.

Prince Mohammed is the kingdom's de facto ruler. But in a diplomatic snub of the crown prince, the White House recently announced that President Joe Biden's official communications with the Saudis would involve King Salman and not Prince Mohammed. Biden and King Salman spoke for the first time on Thursday.

On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released the declassified report on Khashoggi's killing.

"We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report stated. "The Crown Prince viewed Khashoggi as a threat to the Kingdom and broadly supported using violent measures if necessary to silence him."

Release of intelligence report on Khashoggi killing could push already strained U.S.-Saudi relations to new lows

  Release of intelligence report on Khashoggi killing could push already strained U.S.-Saudi relations to new lows The Biden administration had promised to release a summary of intelligence findings that conclude the Saudi crown prince ordered the 2018 slaying of the journalist. The report, an unclassified summary of findings across the intelligence community produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), will be made public as early as next week, according to people familiar with the matter.


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But other than being downgraded in the eyes of the US under the Biden administration, it's unclear what other consequences, if any, Prince Mohammed will face over Khashoggi's killing.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was a Washington Post columnist at the time of his death, was murdered by agents of his own government in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. His body was dismembered, but Khashoggi's remains have never been found.

The Khashoggi Ban

Jamal Khashoggi holding a sign: People hold posters picturing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and lightened candles during a gathering outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, on October 25, 2018. Yasin Akgul/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider People hold posters picturing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and lightened candles during a gathering outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, on October 25, 2018. Yasin Akgul/Getty Images

After the ODNI assessment on Khashoggi's death was released, the State Department announced a new policy involving visa restrictions called the "Khashoggi Ban."

"The Khashoggi Ban allows the State Department to impose visa restrictions on individuals who, acting on behalf of a foreign government, are believed to have been directly engaged in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities, including those that suppress, harass, surveil, threaten, or harm journalists, activists, or other persons perceived to be dissidents for their work, or who engage in such activities with respect to the families or other close associates of such persons," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Democrats demand Saudi accountability after Khashoggi report

  Democrats demand Saudi accountability after Khashoggi report Democrats are using the release of the U.S. intelligence report that implicated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi to press for accountability for the Saudi critic's death.The declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found that the crown prince approved an operation "to capture or kill" Khashoggi, who at the time was a resident in Virginia but had traveled in October 2018 to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where he was attacked, killed and dismembered. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.

"As a matter of safety for all within our borders, perpetrators targeting perceived dissidents on behalf of any foreign government should not be permitted to reach American soil," Blinken added. "While the US remains invested in its relationship with Saudi Arabia, President Biden has made clear that partnership must reflect US values."

Blinken said that "to start," the State Department is citing the ban to impose visa restrictions on 76 Saudi individuals "believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing." It's unclear whether Prince Mohammed would be impacted by the new policy.

"Under US law, individual visa records are confidential, and we cannot provide details as to who is or will be included in the Khashoggi Ban," a State Department spokesperson told Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden to speak with Saudi king ahead of Khashoggi report: report .
President Biden is set to speak with Saudi Arabia's King Salman ahead of the release of an intelligence report likely linking the king's son to the murder of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Axios reports.The reported call Wednesday would be the first between the two leaders since Biden took office last month, with the White House earlier saying the new administration is looking to "recalibrate" the United States' relationship withThe reported call Wednesday would be the first between the two leaders since Biden took office last month, with the White House earlier saying the new administration is looking to "recalibrate" the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia.

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