/ 01 March 2021

Saudi-US relations to be ‘clarified’

President Joe Biden is due to make a statement today about the country’s difficult relationship with Saudi Arabia. It follows the release of a US intelligence report that found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the country’s powerful de facto leader – approved the killing of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018. The Saudi Government maintains the Crown Prince knew nothing of any plan. In the election campaign, Biden pledged to make Saudi Arabia “the pariah that they are” – which is why he’s been heavily criticised for not moving to directly sanction the Crown Prince. Overnight, Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki said there are “more effective ways to make sure this doesn’t happen again”. Pundits say it’s tricky because the Middle Eastern state is one of the US’s closest allies in the region.

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