US intelligence agency is about to declassify the investigation report on the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi in 2018, which directly refers to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sa Leman “approved” the killing of Khashoggi. US President Biden said on the 24th that he has read the investigation report and will have the first phone call with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. Analysts say that the Biden administration is trying to re-adjust US-Saudi relations, but it is inseparable from Saudi cooperation on Middle East security issues.
According to a report by the US Axios News Network on the 24th, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of the United States is scheduled to release the decrypted version of the report on the 25th local time. Four officials familiar with the matter disclosed to Reuters that the report was prepared by the US Central Intelligence Agency. The assessment determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed approved and may have ordered the killing of Khashoggi. White House Spokesperson Psaki said on the 24th that the Kashuji case investigation report will be made public “soon”, and US-Saudi leaders will also talk on the phone “soon”. According to her statement, Biden will mention “human rights violations” related issues in the phone call and reiterate his security commitment to Saudi Arabia.
According to the report, Khashoggi served as the editor-in-chief of Saudi Arabia’s “The Fatherland” and became a columnist for the “Washington Post” after leaving Saudi Arabia in 2017. He once criticized the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed. Khashoggi was killed on October 2, 2018 when he went to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey to collect the necessary documents for remarriage. His body was mutilated and has not been found. Saudi Arabia has always denied allegations that members of the royal family, especially Crown Prince Mohammed, were involved in the murder of Khashoggi. In September last year, the Riyadh Criminal Court made a final judgment on the 8 persons involved in the Kashuji murder case. Among them, 5 were sentenced to 20 years in prison, one was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and the other two were sentenced to 7 years in prison.
The New York Times stated that after the Khashoggi case, US intelligence agencies insisted that “there is reliable evidence that Crown Prince Mohammed and other high-ranking Saudi officials are responsible for the case”. The U.S. Congress enacted the Khashoggi case in December 2019, requiring the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to make the investigation report public, but the Trump administration ignored it.
In addition to the upcoming investigation report of the US intelligence agency, the US media also broke the news about Crown Prince Mohammed’s “new evidence involved in the case.” According to a CNN report on the 25th, a legal document classified as “Top Secret” showed that most of the dozen or so killers involved in the killing of Kashuji had taken the sky during the crime. Two private business jets under the umbrella of Airline Private Airlines. The airline was originally run by the son-in-law of a senior Saudi intelligence official and former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif’s close friend Jabry, and was transferred to Saudi sovereignty under the control of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in December 2017. Wealth fund. In August last year, Jabri, who was in exile in the United States, filed a lawsuit against Crown Prince Mohammed for intent to send an assassination team after Khashoggi was killed.
Reuters analysis believes that the report to be released on the 25th may be part of the new US government’s foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is an ally of the United States in Arab countries and a major oil producer. During the Trump administration, the US government turned a deaf ear to Saudi human rights and its interference in the Yemeni civil war, which was criticized by the United States and the international community. Biden is reshaping the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, from “extraordinarily closeness” to “return to tradition” in the past four years.
The reassessment of US-Saudi relations was one of Biden’s promises when he ran for president last year. After Biden took office, he has suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, no longer supports Saudi military operations in Yemen, and officially revoked the identification of Saudi Arabia’s rival, the Houthi armed terrorist organization in Yemen. Egypt’s “Pyramids” weekly believes that this is tantamount to “drawing money from the bottom” of the Saudi-led multinational coalition war against the Houthi armed forces. But Biden also pointed out that the United States will continue to support Saudi Arabia in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity and resisting Iranian threats. It is worth mentioning that Biden’s call will be the 85-year-old Saudi King Salman, not Crown Prince Mohammed, who is closely related to the Trump administration and regarded by the West as the “actual leader”.
According to an article in the “Ming Daily” of Jordan, during Trump’s administration, U.S.-Saudi relations were very active. Trump gave Saudi Arabia the green light on human rights and Yemen issues, with the aim of using Saudi Arabia to contain Iran and sell more arms to Saudi Arabia. Now that the US White House has changed hands, Biden no longer attaches importance to the huge economic interests between the US and Saudi Arabia, but emphasizes political and ideological colors under strong pressure. As a result, US-Saudi relations have entered a new stage and are facing new tests and challenges. On the other hand, the United States still needs Saudi Arabia’s cooperation in areas such as regional security, containment of Iran, and support for the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries. Therefore, the Biden administration will not abandon Saudi Arabia, and its “beating” on Saudi Arabia will be adequate.