Biden had his first telephone interview on Thursday, February 25, 2021, with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. The US President “reiterated the importance the United States places on human rights.” He promised to make the relationship between Riyadh and Washington stronger and more transparent.
The President of the United States had, for the first time since his installation in the White House, a telephone interview with the King of Saudi Arabia. Relations between the two countries were on the agenda of discussions between the two men. However, no mention has been made of the CIA’s explosive report, which risks undermining the partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia.Although no date has yet been set, the United States is preparing to release a report that establishes the responsibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul.
The release of the report “is an important step towards transparency, and as is often the case, transparency is an element for accountability,” said US diplomacy spokesman Ned Price on Thursday, adding: This is a crime, as I have already said, which has shocked consciences. We will soon be able to talk about accountability measures.”
The Trump administration had classified the report. The Republican president wanted to preserve the alliance with Ryad, a pillar of his anti-Iran strategy, the world’s leading exporter of crude oil and a major American arms buyer.Only a dozen subordinate Saudi officials were sanctioned. Mike Pompeo, then Donald Trump’s secretary of state, even claimed that the CIA report contained “no direct element linking the crown prince to the order to kill Jamal Khashoggi”.
Jamal Khasoggi is a Saudi journalist who was murdered on 2 October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. He was general manager of Al-Arab News, then editor of the Saudi newspaper Al Watan, which he turned into a progressive platform. From 1980 to 2000, he regularly served Prince Turki bin Faisal, former director of the Saudi intelligence services. He was first close to the Saudi power before going on dissent in 2017, following the advent of Mohammed bin Salman to the status of crown prince and de facto ruler of the country. He left Saudi Arabia in September 2017 and declared that the Saudi government had “banned him from Twitter.” He then began writing critical press articles about the Saudi regime. Extremely critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Khashoggi strongly opposes intervention in Yemen.