US to make announcement on Saudi Arabia on Monday

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Feb 28, 2021, 08:52 AM IST
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(File Photo) US President Joe Biden Photograph:(Reuters)

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This will come just days after US intelligence report saying that Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that US will make "an announcement" on Saudi Arabia on Monday. US intelligence report on Saturday said that Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. However, White House played down Biden's statement on the announcement.

Asked about punishing the crown prince, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, who is also known as MbS, Biden said: "There will be an announcement on Monday as to what we are going to be doing with Saudi Arabia generally."

Biden did not provide details.

But a White House official suggested no new significant steps were expected.

"The administration took a wide range of new actions on Friday. The president is referring to the fact that on Monday, the State Department will provide more details and elaborate on those announcements, not new announcements," the official said.

Biden administration faced some criticism that the president should have been tougher on the crown prince who was not sanctioned despite being blamed for approving Khashoggi's murder. Washington Post was especially forthcoming in its criticism.

Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident, wrote opinion columns for the Washington Post. He was critical of the Saudi regime and Mohammed bin Salman's policies. He was killed and dismembered by a team of operatives linked to the prince in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

The Saudi government, which has denied any involvement by the crown prince, on Friday issued a statement rejecting the U.S. report’s findings and repeating its previous statements that Khashoggi’s killing was a heinous crime by a rogue group.

Among the punitive steps the United States took on Friday was the imposition of a visa ban on some Saudis believed involved in the Khashoggi killing and sanctions on others, including a former deputy intelligence chief, which would freeze their U.S. assets and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.

(With Reuters inputs)