Blinken says immunity for bin Salman doesn’t converse to ‘present standing’ in US-Saudi relations: ‘Authorized matter’


Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday defended the administration’s determination to grant immunity for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, however stated the opinion based mostly on “long-standing authorized observe” doesn’t mirror the “present standing” of U.S.-Saudi relations.

It was a “authorized matter,” Blinken advised reporters from Qatar. 

The secretary of state stated that given his new place as Saudi prime minister, as a “head of state,” bin Salman was legally “entitled to immunity” within the authorized challenges he confronted over his alleged function within the brutal killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, pictured, holds a press conference with Qatar's Foreign Minister in the capital Doha, on Nov. 22, 2022. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, pictured, holds a press convention with Qatar’s Overseas Minister within the capital Doha, on Nov. 22, 2022. 
(KARIM JAAFAR/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY EXPLAINS DECISION TO REQUEST IMMUNITY FOR CROWN PRINCE IN KILLING OF KHASHOGGI

The administration’s determination was made in response to a lawsuit levied towards the Crown Prince by Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancée, in 2020 which alleged that the prince and 28 others “kidnaped, certain, drugged, tortured, and assassinated” Khashoggi on the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier than then dismembering his physique. 

Khashoggi’s physique was by no means recovered.

“This can be a willpower that we have made in dozens, tons of of instances through the years. And in each case, we merely comply with the legislation,” Blinken stated, referring to the choice issued Thursday by the State Division.

President Biden in 2019 known as the alleged killing of Khashoggi – who was crucial of bin Salman – “flat-out homicide” and a U.S. intelligence report launched in February 2021 discovered that the Crown Prince accredited the seize that led to the dying of the Washington Submit journalist.

People hold posters of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, near the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 2, 2020, marking the two-year anniversary of his death. 

Folks maintain posters of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, close to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 2, 2020, marking the two-year anniversary of his dying. 
(AP Picture/Emrah Gurel, File)

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION REQUESTS IMMUNITY FOR SAUDI CROWN PRINCE IN KHASHOGGI KILLING: ‘BEYOND IRONIC’

The Biden administration then introduced a “Khashoggi Ban” that restricted visas for any particular person straight concerned in “critical, extraterritorial counter-dissident actions, together with those who suppress, harass, surveil, threaten, or hurt journalists, activists, or different individuals perceived to be dissidents for his or her work.” 

The ban was not restricted to people concerned within the Khashoggi killing. 

The Biden administration received swift backlash following final week’s announcement, together with from Washington Submit CEO Fred Ryan, who stated the choice primarily gave the Saudi royal household a “license to kill.”

President Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrive for the family photo during the Jeddah Security and Development Summit at a hotel in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on July 16, 2022.

President Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrive for the household picture in the course of the Jeddah Safety and Growth Summit at a resort in Saudi Arabia’s Crimson Sea coastal metropolis of Jeddah on July 16, 2022.
(MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

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On Tuesday, Blinken appeared to set the report straight and stated the choice was based mostly on a courtroom opinion and “doesn’t converse in any solution to the deserves of the case” or the “present standing of the bilateral relationship.”

“Our overview of that relationship is, is ongoing,” he added. 



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