Washington [US], February 27 (ANI): US President Joe Biden on Friday said that he will hold Saudi Arabia accountable after the government released a report revealing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to The Hill, in an interview with Univision, Biden detailed a conversation he had on Thursday with Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in which he emphasised that the US would push Riyadh to honour human rights amid lingering criticism over the killing of Khashoggi, a columnist from The Washington Post who lived in Virginia and was critical of the Saudi royal family.
"I spoke yesterday with the king, not the prince. Made it clear to him that the rules are changing and we're going to be announcing significant changes today and on Monday. We are going to hold them accountable for human rights abuses and we're going to make sure that they, in fact, if they want to deal with us, they have to deal with it in a way that the human rights abuses are dealt with," Biden said.
"And we're trying to do that across the world," he continued. "But particularly here, this report has been sitting there, the last administration wouldn't even release it. We immediately, when I got in, filed the report, read it, got it, and released it today. And it is outrageous what happened," the US President said.
The Hill further reported that the President's remarks come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill call for a realignment of Washington's "historically close" relationship with Riyadh.
Frustration with Saudi Arabia has been growing not only over Khashoggi's killing but also the Saudi-backed offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen, which observers have said has worsened a humanitarian crisis in the country.
According to a US declasified report, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in 2018.
Khashoggi, who was a vocal critic of the Saudi regime was killed on October 2, 2018, in Turkey where he had gone to obtain paperwork certifying his divorce from his former wife Alaa Nassif in order to be able to marry his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz.
His killing had brought international outrage and battered the reputation of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman. (ANI)