USA for more detailed information on actions against Saudi Arabia


The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 24, 2018.

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The State Department will provide additional information on action against Saudi Arabia on Monday after a U.S. intelligence report found the Crown Prince responsible for the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, a White House official told NBC News.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday imposed visa restrictions on 76 Saudi people believed to have “threatened overseas dissidents, including but not limited to the murder of Khashoggi”.

The office of the director of the National Intelligence Service released a report on Friday that found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the operation that killed Khashoggi. The report cited the Crown Prince’s control over decision-making in Saudi Arabia.

However, the New York Times reported Friday that the Biden government would not punish the crown prince for Khashoggi’s murder. The White House ruled that such measures would create excessive costs for US-Saudi Arabia cooperation on counter-terrorism and confrontation with Iran, according to the Times.

When asked on Saturday whether the US would punish the crown prince, Biden said the government would make an announcement on Monday about relations with Saudi Arabia. However, a White House official clarified that the announcement will include additional details about the state’s actions on Friday.

“The recalibration of relations with Saudi Arabia began on January 20 and is ongoing,” the official told NBC News. “The government took a multitude of new measures on Friday. The President pointed out that the State Department will provide further details on Monday and clarify these announcements, not new announcements.”

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old American and a Washington Post columnist, was a critic of the Saudi royal family. He entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 and never left.

Khashoggi was killed, his body was dismembered, and his remains were never recovered.

The White House has announced that it will review relations with Saudi Arabia, which were particularly close under former President Donald Trump. In a diplomatic reprimand to the Crown Prince this week, the White House made it clear that Biden does not see 35-year-old bin Salman as his counterpart and will instead have relationships through his aging father, King Salman.

Bin Salman has been the public face of the kingdom since he became Crown Prince in 2017.

– CNBC’s Spencer Kimball contributed to this report