The United States has announced plan to prohibit the entry into its territory to 21 Saudi officials in connection with the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Secretary announced that 21 Saudi suspects in the death of Jamal Khashoggi will have their visas revoked or be ineligible for a visa to enter the United States.
On Tuesday, Trump called the Saudis’ handling of Khashoggi’s death the “worst cover-up ever”. Saudi officials have changed their story repeatedly since Khashoggi disappeared.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States could impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act on those responsible for the murder of Khashoggi. He did not rule out other measures against these individuals.
World leaders and human rights groups have criticised the latest Saudi version of events, saying their explanation lacks any credibility, as calls for an independent probe into what happened have grown louder.
Trump is repeating the denials by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he knew of the plot before it was carried out.
He calls the killing of Khashoggi “a total fiasco” and says Saudi Arabia never should have thought about killing the dissident Washington Post contributor.
White House officials have given Saudi Arabia and its de-facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) some leeway over the death of Khashoggi, a Saudi insider-turned-critic and prominent Washington Post columnist who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
The Saudis insisted that the journalist left the building minutes after he arrived. However, on Friday, Saudi officials said Khashoggi was killed after a fight broke out inside the consulate.
Critics of Saudi Arabia have said they believe the Gulf kingdom is seeking to shield the crown prince from having to take any responsibility for Khashoggi’s death.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia’s current policy, left his home country and moved to the United States in 2017. The journalist wrote articles for The Washington Post, analyzing the situation in Saudi Arabia and the country’s foreign policy, and criticizing Riyadh.
The journalist arrived in the consulate general of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2 to complete paperwork to marry a Turkish citizen and has not been in contact since then. On October 20, Saudi Arabia’s authorities announced that the journalist died after a conflict in the consulate general and did not provide any further details.