Americas, Jamal Khashoggi

Biden speaks with Saudi king ahead of Khashoggi report

US does not explicitly say leaders discussed findings, instead referring to importance US places on universal human rights

Michael Gabriel Hernandez   | 26.02.2021
Biden speaks with Saudi king ahead of Khashoggi report Member of the Organization 'Justice for Jamal Khashoggi' holding a picture of Khashoggi as he and other members hold news conference on the disappearance of Saudi journalist in front of the Washington Post headquarters in Washington D.C. with the attendance of Congressman Gerry Connolly and figures from CAIR and Pen America spoke, in Washington D.C., United State, October, 2018 ( Umar Farooq - Anadolu Agency )

WASHINGTON

US President Joe Biden spoke Thursday with Saudi King Salman ahead of the public release of a long-anticipated report expected to implicate the monarch's son in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.  

The readout of the call did not explicitly list the report’s forthcoming release as one of the issues the leaders discussed but referred broadly to "the importance the United States places on universal human rights and the rule of law."

The White House said Biden and Salman discussed "regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the U.S. commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups."

"The President told King Salman he would work to make the bilateral relationship as strong and transparent as possible. The two leaders affirmed the historic nature of the relationship and agreed to work together on mutual issues of concern and interest," the White House added.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence's long-sought unclassified report will reportedly conclude that Salman's son, Mohammed bin Salman, approved and almost certainly ordered Khashoggi's murder.

The dual US-Saudi national was brutally killed and likely dismembered after being lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2018, and while Saudi officials initially denied any role in his death, they later sought to pin blame on what they said was a botched rendition operation.

That explanation has been widely rejected by both the UN and a wide group of US lawmakers who have maintained bin Salman's culpability.

Khashoggi's remains have never been found amid speculation that they were dissolved in a vat of acid in the diplomatic building.


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