US wants change, not ‘rupture’ with Saudis, says Blinken

A US report has found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi. (AFP pic)

WASHINGTON: The US wants change but not a “rupture” in relations with Saudi Arabia after the publication of intelligence on Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday.

“What we’ve done by the actions that we’ve taken is really not to rupture the relationship, but to recalibrate to be more in line with our interests and our values,” Blinken told reporters.

The report declassified by President Joe Biden found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate of Khashoggi, a US-based dissident writer.

The Biden administration announced a series of steps including sanctions on an elite Saudi unit but stopped short actions against the powerful 35-year-old prince personally.

“I think that we have to understand as well that this is bigger than any one person. This recalibration goes to the policies that Saudi Arabia is pursuing and the actions that are taken,” Blinken said when asked why the prince was not targeted.