Biden call with Saudi king expected 'very soon,' ahead of Khashoggi report

U.S. President Joe Biden will talk "very soon" with Saudi King Salman, the White House said on Thursday, ahead of the expected release of a U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that may test ties. The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 26-02-2021 03:01 IST | Created: 26-02-2021 03:01 IST
Biden call with Saudi king expected 'very soon,' ahead of Khashoggi report
File Photo Image Credit: Flickr

U.S. President Joe Biden will talk "very soon" with Saudi King Salman, the White House said on Thursday, ahead of the expected release of a U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that may test ties.

The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. A person familiar with the issue told Reuters that the report's release was awaiting the Biden call. The release also was delayed as the crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, underwent surgery earlier this week, the person said.

It was yet not clear if the call would take place later on Thursday, possibly leading to the report's release on Friday. Khashoggi, who wrote Washington Post columns critical of the crown prince's policies, had been a U.S. resident.

The release of the declassified report on his death is part of Biden's recalibration of U.S.-Saudi relations in part over Khashoggi's murder. But Biden has made clear that he wants to maintain strong ties with one of Washington's closest Arab allies.

"Our administration is focused on recalibrating the relationship," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a briefing. "And certainly there are areas where we will express concerns and leave open the option of accountability." "There are also areas where we will continue to work with Saudi Arabia given the threats they face in the region," she added in an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia's main rival and U.S. foe, Iran.

"There are a range of actions that are on the table" regarding Saudi Arabia," Psaki said, adding that the next step was for Biden to speak to Salman "very soon." Khashoggi was lured to the Saudi mission. There, he was killed by an team of Saudi operatives, linked to the crown prince, who dismembered his body. It has never been found.

Saudi Arabia called Khashoggi's death a "rogue" extradition operation gone awry, but denied the crown prince was involved. Five people were convicted of the murder and given the death penalty in a 2019 trial, but their sentences were commuted to 20 years in jail after Khashoggi's family forgave them. Three other received sentences totaling 24 years.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a call on Thursday with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al Saud and "discussed the importance of Saudi progress on human rights," the State Department said. They also discussed "joint efforts to bolster" Saudi defenses, and cooperation on ending the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is backing the government against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Is Xi Jinping hounding Alibaba's Chinese billionaire Jack Ma again?

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and his company Alibaba are being hounded by Chinese President Xi Jinping again - third time in less than six months. On Monday, citing the state-run Xinhua News Agency, Nikkei Asia reported that four government ...

MHA deputes 25 doctors, 75 paramedics from paramilitary forces at DRDO's upcoming 900-bed COVID hospital in Ahmedabad: Officials.

MHA deputes 25 doctors, 75 paramedics from paramilitary forces at DRDOs upcoming 900-bed COVID hospital in Ahmedabad Officials....

Delhi Capitals hold edge over Punjab Kings as Nortje set to replace Tom Curran

Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant will aim to display better tactical acumen in Catch-22 situations against a blow-hot-blow-cold Punjab Kings in what promises to be a battle of brittle middle-orders in an IPL match here on Sunday.Both tea...

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher after bumper earnings from big banks

U.S. stocks were set to open higher on Friday after Morgan Stanley wrapped up earnings reports from the big U.S. banks with a profit surge, while optimism about a solid economic rebound put the main indexes on course for weekly gains. Wall ...

Give Feedback