The Biden administration will not sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the assassination of Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, despite Friday’s declassified intelligence report reaffirming the crown prince directly approved the killing. The U.S. instead announced travel restrictions on dozens of other Saudi officials. Biden is set to publicly address U.S.-Saudi relations today, though the White House says no new policy will be announced. This is Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “The relationship with Saudi Arabia is an important one. We have significant, ongoing interests. We remain committed to the defense of the kingdom. … So, what we’ve done by the actions that we’ve taken is really not to rupture the relationship, but to recalibrate it.”
The U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings said the U.S. should directly sanction bin Salman and “take the lead in ensuring accountability.” Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz is also calling for the crown prince to be “punished without delay.” Meanwhile, CNN is reporting the names of three men were removed from the Khashoggi report shortly after it was first released.