US President Joe Biden said on Saturday (27) that his administration would make an announcement on Saudi Arabia on Monday (29), after a secret CIA report was released on Friday (26) indicating that the regime’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved a plan to assassinate journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
After being asked about the sanctions against the prince, known by the acronym MbS, Biden said: “There will be an announcement on Monday on what we will do in relation to Saudi Arabia in general,” he said. declared. The US president did not give more details.
Khashoggi, who was a Washington Post columnist and MbS critic, was killed and dismembered in October 2018 at the Saudi regime’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
In response to the CIA report, the US government on Friday announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Saudis who could be linked to the crime and sanctioning others, including a former intelligence chief. The Saudi regime issued a statement rejecting the document produced by the United States.
The disclosure of the U.S. intelligence investigation is seen as a rebuke to the prince, who was a close ally of the Donald Trump administration.
In 2019, Congress passed a measure requiring the executive branch to provide lawmakers with a report on Khashoggi’s death and the intelligence community’s findings. The Trump administration has never complied.
The Biden government, however, faces criticism, particularly in an editorial in the Washington Post, that the president should come up with tougher measures against the prince – which he was not sanctioned even after allegedly endorsing the action which resulted in Khashoggi’s death.
The rationale is that the price of formal retaliation – such as banning the heir’s entry into the country’s crown – could, for example, sever the relationship with one of the main Arab allies in the United States. .