Riyadh Rejects US Intelligence Report About Crown Prince’s Approval For Khashoggi’s Murder

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Riyadh rejects US intelligence report about Crown Prince’s approval for Khashoggi’s murder

Saudi Arabia says the US intelligence report is negative, false and unacceptable, adding that the report it contained inaccurate information and conclusions.

RIYADH: (UrduPoint/UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News-Feb 27th, 2021) The Saudi government on Saturday rejected the US intelligence report about Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s role and approval behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The Saudi government repeated the same statement it had given earlier, reiterating that a rogue group committed the heinous crime of killing Khashoggi.

“The US intelligence report is negative, false and unacceptable,” said the Saudi government, adding that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions,” the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US was a robust and strong partnership.

The reports said earlier that the Biden administration would announce sanctions and visa bans on Saudi Arabian citizens over 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

However, the US would not impose sanctions on Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

According to media reports, a senior Biden Administration official with condition of anonymity said that decision did not mean that the US was going to break a core relationship in the middle East.

“It was just an approach for creation of a new launching-off point for ties with the kingdom without breaking ties in the Middle East,” the official was quoted as saying. The reports said that relations had been severely damaged for years by the war in Yemen and the killing inside a Saudi consulate of Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post.

On Friday, a declassified US intelligence assessment was released which said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman approved of an operation to capture or kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

US Office of the Director of National Intelligence said: “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” .

However, the US decisions appear designed to preserve a working relationship with the crown prince despite that the report held Crown Prince responsible for the murder of Journalist Khashoggi.

Journalist Khashoggi who was Washington Post Columnist was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2, 2018 and killed by a team of operatives which the US intelligence report said were linked to Crown Prince. The operatives dismembered his body and his remains were not found.

According to the latest reports said that sanctions would be placed on Saudis including the former deputy Saudi Intelligence Chief Ahmed Al-Asiri and Saudi Royal Guard’s rapid intervention force after the force was also mentioned in the declassified US intelligence report for its role in Khashoggi’s murder.

They said that visa restrictions would be announced against 70 Saudi citizens under the new policy in order to stop harassment, intimidation and murder of journalists and activists beyond Saudi borders.