US President Joe Biden is expected to call Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Wednesday, ahead of the scheduled release of a US intelligence report detailing the disappearance and murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Biden 'to call Saudi king' before release of Khashoggi intelligence report
STEPANAKERT, FEBRUARY 24, ARTSAKHPRESS: Citing a source, the news website Axios reported late on Tuesday that the “imminent release of the explosive report” could entangle one of the king’s sons without mentioning any names.
Should it proceed as scheduled, the call would be the first conversation between Biden, as US president and King Salman, according to Al Jazeera.
Other issues are likely to be discussed but the Khashoggi case could dominate the headlines, the report added.
The unclassified report from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) reportedly implies that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, was involved in Khashoggi’s murder and the dismemberment of his body.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post newspaper columnist and critic of Saudi government policies, was assassinated by a team of Saudi agents at the country’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, according to reports. He had gone to the building to get the documents he needed for his marriage.
US media outlets later reported that the CIA had concluded MBS was involved.
MBS has vehemently denied the accusations but has accepted responsibility as the kingdom’s de facto leader.
MBS has not spoken to Biden, although as the country’s defence minister, he held a phone call with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.