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Khashoggi: Cause for Change!

Mohammed Saad – Khartoum

Washington’s refusal to pursue punitive measures against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman the day after the publication of the CIA report concerning Khashoggi’s assassination has brought disappointment to human rights defenders and revealed a cautious approach by Washington to avoid diplomatic rifts with Riyadh.

“We came to the conclusion that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, authorized an operation in Istanbul, Turkey, to either arrest or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi”, The now-declassified four page long report states.

According to the report, which had been declassified last Friday, the operation is in line with “The Crown Prince’s support for the use of violence to silence dissidents abroad”.

Some organizations have called for the implementation of sanctions against bin Salman, who Washington has failed to take any direct action against.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has stated however, that his country is seeking change rather than severing ties with Saudi Arabia after the report’s publication.

Varsha Koduvayur, senior research analyst at The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has stated that “this is not the anticipated strike against Saudi Arabia many were hoping for”.

“Biden’s general position on Saudi Arabia is to place values ​​at the heart of American foreign policy, to emphasize human rights, and to back away from the bargaining approach of the last four years (in the Trump administration) – while preserving the relationship”, she added.

Yes, Biden has another point of view when it comes to dealing with such issues, but it appears that there will be a radical shift in the region, especially in relation to the wars in Yemen and Iraq and facing extremism and terrorism, but I think that it is more beneficial for the Biden administration to search for the roots of the problem first and seek to treat it all. Immediate solutions may have a limited impact, and problems will soon begin to reappear.

The Biden administration must work quickly to reinforce democratic transformation, stabilize economies, and the initiate awareness-raising campaigns focused on extremism and terrorism, taking into account the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of the region.

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