WASHINGTON, Feb 28 – RIA Novosti. The United States has “better ways” to influence Saudi Arabia after the assassination of opposition journalist Jamal Hashukji than sanctions against Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, US President's spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Khashukji was killed in October 2018 in Istanbul at the Saudi Arabian consulate. At first, Riyadh denied his disappearance in the diplomatic mission. However, some time later – after the appearance of video and audio recordings – the authorities were forced to admit that Khashukji was killed “as a result of a quarrel with consular officials.” The Turkish police have never been able to find his body. The Kingdom's Foreign Ministry denied that the contender for the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was involved in this crime.
On Friday, the office of the US Director of National Intelligence released a report stating that the prince “ordered” the murder of the journalist. After that, Washington imposed sanctions against a number of Saudi officials, including the deputy chief of intelligence, barring more than 70 Saudi Arabians from entering the United States.
On CNN, Psaki was asked why the United States is imposing restrictions on the kingdom's officials, but not against the prince, who, according to American intelligence, “approved the operation in Istanbul.”
Historically, even in recent history, under both democratic and republican administrations, no sanctions have been imposed against foreign government leaders when we have diplomatic relations and even when we do not have diplomatic relations.
Jen Psakipress – Secretary of the President of the United States
According to her, there are other ways to prevent similar actions on the part of Riyadh in the future, as well as “leave a place to work with the Saudis where there is agreement, where there is a national interest for the United States. As noted by Psaki,” it looks like diplomacy”.
“We made no secret and made it clear that we would hold them accountable on the global stage and even through direct action,” she added.