Biden to call Saudi king before Khashoggi report release

Biden to call Saudi king before release of 'damning' US Khashoggi report
2 min read
24 February, 2021
The US is expected to release a damning report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Biden is expected to call the Saudi King regarding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. [Getty]
US President Joe Biden is expected to call Saudi Arabia's King Salman before the release of a "damning" intelligence report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, according to media reports. 

The report was due to be released on Thursday and could link the murder to one of the Saudi king's sons but did not cite any names, Axios reported Tuesday.

This would be the first conversation between Biden and King Salman since the former became president in January. 

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 where he was murdered by a team sent from the kingdom.

The Saudi government has denied reports that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was linked to the murder, insisting that the killing was carried out by renegade officials who have since been sentenced in Saudi Arabia.

King Salman and his powerful son Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman enjoyed positive ties under the Donald Trump presidency, which refused to publish an intelligence report on the Khashoggi murder.

But under the Biden administration, the newly-appointed Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said she will release the CIA's findings "without delay".

Former CIA chief, John Brennan, said in October that Trump and his senior advisor, Jared Kushner, had "given MBS… a pass for that horrific murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi" by failing to hold Riyadh to account.

The 85-year-old king has denied any involvement in the killing but accepted responsibility as the kingdom's leader.

According to a report by The Washington Post in November 2018, the CIA concluded that Saudi Arabia's crown prince directly ordered the killing.

Agnès Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said in February 2019 that evidence collected from Turkey shows Khashoggi's assassination was "a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated".

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