The US Biden administration is facing criticism from human rights organizations and anti-war advocates for welcoming Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid bin Salman to Washington for a high-level meeting this week.
Prince Khalid bin Salman is the brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS. From July 6th to 7th, the prince met with US President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan, Secretary of State Anthony Brinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and others Senior U.S. officials.
MBS is Formally confirmed Earlier this year, U.S. intelligence agencies approved the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018 by a Saudi commando. As the 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden condemned Khashoggi’s assassination and promised that Saudi Arabia will become a “untouchable.”
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, a women’s peace advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., said: “The Biden administration is acting as if it wants to change its relationship with Saudi Arabia. This is a great hypocrisy.
“The Biden administration is going against everything it says,” Benjamin told Al Jazeera on Thursday.
She added that it said it would establish a different relationship with Saudi Arabia. “Biden talked about MBS being a pariah and how he will ensure that the United States does not support their facilities during the war in Yemen.
“But in fact, he laid the red carpet for MBS’s brother. He continues to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia. He is hiding information about the killing of Khashoggi from the public,” Benjamin said.
President Biden and his team went very narrowly between condemning Khashoggi’s murder and maintaining a working relationship with Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Bin Salman. The United States wants Saudi Arabia to cooperate on a range of challenges, from Iran’s nuclear program to the civil war in Yemen and the ongoing crisis in Lebanon.
In a declassified report prepared by the CIA and released on February 26, the US spy agency, Assigned responsibilities For the action to kill Khashoggi to MBS.
Following the release of the report, the State Council included more than 70 Saudi nationals on the travel ban list, and the Ministry of Finance imposed financial sanctions on officials directly involved in the killing of Khashoggi.But MBS in particular Does not contain Among these sanctions.
Khalid bin Salman was the Saudi ambassador to the United States when Khashoggi was killed. At that time, he condemned the “malicious leaks and harsh rumors” surrounding Kashuji’s disappearance on October 2, 2018, saying that any claims about his disappearance at the Istanbul consulate “or the detention or killing of him by the kingdom authorities are completely false and Unfounded”.
The Saudi government later admitted that a group of Saudi agents killed Khashoggi at the consulate.
Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of the Arab World Democracy Organization (DAWN), said in an operation: “President Biden talked about holding accountable the killer of Khashoggi. During his campaign, he promised to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia.” ed was published in the Washington Post on July 6.
Liming was established Khashoggi wrote a commentary column for The Washington Post, criticizing Saudi Arabia’s monarchy when he was killed.
Whitson wrote: “But not only did his government refuse to approve MBS-the main plotter of the murder-and continue to sell arms under the name of’defensive weapons’, it now seems to have critical information about the murder of Khashoggi. Restricted.”.
Whitson cited reports that several members of the MBS-supported “Tiger Squad” attack team received paramilitary training in the United States, and Egypt allegedly provided a deadly substance used to kill Kashuji.
Prince Khalid posted photos of his meeting with senior U.S. officials on his Twitter.
— Khalid Bin Salman Khalid Bin Salman (@kbsalsaud) July 7, 2021
Prince Khalid said on Twitter: “We discussed the long-term and historic partnership between the two countries, our military and defense cooperation, and our joint efforts to maintain regional stability.”
Khalid stated that he had a “great meeting” with Secretary of State Brinken, “discussed the strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States, reviewed the latest developments in the region, and explored ways to strengthen the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States.” .
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Ben Salman’s conversations with Brinken focused on regional security issues, including “striving to achieve a comprehensive national ceasefire in Yemen and a transition to a political process, and economic development for the Lebanese people. The need for reform and humanitarian relief, and other key bilateral issues, including human rights”.
A leaked document from Riyadh reported by the Gulf Institute in May indicated that the Biden administration has so far rejected Saudi King Salman’s request to allow MBS to visit Washington.
During the visit, Prince Khalid bin Salman, Deputy Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia, met with the US special envoy Tim Randkin to discuss the war in Yemen. The United States is seeking cooperation from Saudi Arabia in opening Yemen’s seaports and airports to allow more humanitarian supplies to enter.
Price said that Lenderking “emphasizes that Saudi Arabia needs to continue to participate in the Yemen issue, leave room for a complete national ceasefire, and then transition to the Yemeni political process to permanently resolve this conflict.”