Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman is scheduled to visit the United States next week. This will be the first high-ranking Saudi official visit for the current US administration led by Joe Biden.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Khalid bin Salman, who previously served as the Saudi ambassador to Washington, will meet senior officials of the State Department, the Ministry of Defense, and the White House, including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
Khalid bin Salman’s visit proves that Biden is abandoning his promises to follow a new policy with Saudi Arabia, based on respect for human rights and ensuring a change in the deteriorating human rights situation in Saudi.
Many reports, including the declassified US intelligence report, talked about the presence of a major role for Khalid bin Salman in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and according to the Washington Post, Prince Khalid urged Jamal Khashoggi to go to the consulate in Istanbul in a phone call he made with Khashoggi when he was still the Kingdom’s ambassador in Washington.
It is worth noting that Khalid bin Salman left Washington in early October 2018, following the assassination of Khashoggi inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, and stayed in the Kingdom for two months, then returned to resume his diplomatic duties as ambassador to the United States in December of the same year, before the current ambassador Rima bint Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud became the ambassador in February 2019.
According to informed people, Khaled encouraged Khashoggi to go to the consulate in Istanbul to obtain the documents required for his marriage to a Turkish woman, with a pledge that he would not be harmed. Khaled denied these charges like the Kingdom denied its involvement in the murder of Khashoggi.
In February 2021, a few weeks after Biden formally took office, an intelligence report was released about the role of officials in the Saudi authorities, including Mohammed bin Salman, in the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Many considered publishing the report as the beginning to implementing Biden’s promises, who pledged to subject the Saudi regime to strict conditions that guarantee its reform of human rights.
The first shock was when Biden refused to impose any sanctions on Mohammed bin Salman and only allowed publishing the report, but today, with the reception of a person who the US intelligence spoke about his role in the killing of Khashoggi, it becomes clear that Biden explicitly declares that there is no room for respecting human rights in the American foreign policy agenda.
The US Congress should put strong pressure on the US administration to stop cooperating with the Saudi regime and not to receive officials whose hands are stained with the blood of the people and who have a brutal record regarding freedoms and human rights.
We affirm that this visit is a disgrace to the new US administration, which proves that it is a protector of Arab dictatorships and tyrannical rulers who violate all the basic rights of their people.