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Saudi Arabia rejects US report on Khashoggi; Biden to make announcement on relations with the Kingdom

Saudi Arabia rejects US report on Khashoggi; Biden to make announcement on relations with the Kingdom

Jamal Khashoggi (file image)

The Biden administration is to make an announcement on Saudi Arabia following a US intelligence report regarding its alleged involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the US President Joe Biden said on Saturday. However, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied the allegations of the Kingdom's involvement and noted that the report has been falsely and negatively assessed, according to a statement released in the state-run SPA.

"It is truly unfortunate that this report, with its unjustified and inaccurate conclusions, is issued while the Kingdom had clearly denounced this heinous crime, and the Kingdom's leadership took the necessary steps to ensure that such a tragedy never takes place again. The Kingdom rejects any measure that impinges upon its leadership, sovereignty, and the independence of its judicial system," the statement remarked. The report alleged that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as MBS, ordered Khashoggi's assassination at the country's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

On Saturday, most Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states such as the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman declared their support for the Kingdom's statement rejecting the declassified report on Khashoggi. The Secretary-General of GCC Nayef Al Hajraf and the head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef bin Ahmad Al Othaimeen also supported the Saudi statement.

Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Saudi government policies. According to media and Turkish officials, he was murdered and dismembered by an assassination team inside the consulate, though his remains were not found. The Kingdom had imprisoned the people linked to the operation in September, for which Saudi Arabia faced criticisms from several media and activists asking for clarity on the issue.

"This crime was committed by a group of individuals that have transgressed all pertinent regulations and authorities of the agencies where they were employed," the statement added. "The relevant authorities in the Kingdom took all possible measures within our legal system to ensure that these individuals were properly investigated and to ensure that justice was served. The concerned individuals were convicted and sentenced by the courts in the Kingdom, and these sentences were welcomed by the family of Jamal Khashoggi."

The US authorities said they had imposed sanctions on several Saudi officials without disclosing their identities, following the investigation report.

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TAGS:Saudi Arabia UpdatesJamal Khashoggi
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