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  • A U S intelligence report has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally approved the murder of the exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018.

  • He was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

  • The declassified report says the prince approved a plan to either capture or kill Kasogi, who had criticized the Saudi regime.

  • This is the first time America has publicly named the crown prince who denies ordering the murder on North America, Correspondent Nick Bryant reports it was at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that Jamal Khashoggi met his brutal end.

  • He'd been You're there to discuss paperwork for his upcoming wedding.

  • But he was strangled as soon as he entered the building by a team of Saudi assassins who then dismembered his body.

  • A Saudi dissident who wrote a column for The Washington Post often criticizing his country's authoritarian leadership.

  • The motive was to silence him.

  • The damning conclusion of the declassified intelligence report is that Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, the countries de facto leader, approved an operation in Istanbul to capture or kill the Saudi journalist.

  • The assessment was based on the crown prince's control of decision making in the kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of his protective detail in the operation.

  • These aren't new findings.

  • The Trump administration had suppressed this report ahead of its release.

  • President Joe Biden spoke by phone to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the crown prince's father, all part of a deliberate move by the new administration to alter the relationship with the Saudis to be tougher on this oil rich kingdom, our administration is focused on recalibrating the relationship as we've talked about in here previously.

  • And certainly there are areas where we will express concerns and leave open the option of accountability.

  • There are also areas where we will continue to work with Saudi Arabia, given the threats they face in the region.

  • Already, Mr Biden has ordered an end to arms sales and other U.

  • S support to the Saudis in their war in Yemen.

  • As a candidate, he referred to Saudi Arabia as a pariah state.

  • But he stopped short of imposing sanctions on Mohammed bin Salman, the future king who is known as MBS.

  • This new, tougher approach has drawn support from both Democrats and leading Republicans.

  • Look this is a a journalist working on American soil working for an American publication, and and he was murdered and dismembered.

  • Uh, this is something we can't just look beyond.

  • There has to be a consequence of that.

  • Donald Trump was very much in step with the Saudis.

  • Significantly, it was the first foreign country he visited as president.

  • And as well as turning a blind eye to the country's human rights record.

  • He had a warm relationship with Mohammed bin Salman when they met at a G 20 summit in Japan.

  • He was asked about the murder of the Saudi journalist, but clearly didn't want it to sour their personal report.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Under Donald Trump, the Saudis almost had a blank check.

  • Those days are over and joins me now.

  • So what will this report means for us and international relations with Saudi Arabia?

  • Sophie.

  • This is a reset in relations between Washington and Riyadh, but the Biden administration really has tried to limit the diplomatic fallout from the release of this report.

  • We haven't seen administration officials rushing to the cameras to condemn Saudi Arabia.

  • And while they've announced what they're calling a Kasogi ban, which is targeting foreign nationals who they say have intimidated or harassed or assaulted dissidents and journalists.

  • They haven't imposed sanctions on Mohammed bin Salman.

  • The crown prince will go unpunished.

  • The Saudis, I should say, have rejected this report.

  • The Biden administration does not want to sever ties with Saudi Arabia.

  • It's an important counterweight against Iran.

  • But it does want its allies, including Britain, to recalibrate their relations.

  • Nick Bryant in New York, Thank you.

A U S intelligence report has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally approved the murder of the exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018.

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