US Denies Entry to 16 Saudis Tied to Jamal Khashoggi’s Death
WASHINGTON — The U.S. will deny entry to 16 Saudis over “their roles” in the murder of the columnist Jamal Khashoggi, as the administration seeks to sustain pressure on the kingdom to come up with a credible account of his death, the State Department announced Monday.
The 16 people, including Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had already been sanctioned by the U.S. over Khashoggi’s death. Monday’s action was done under the 2019 State Department appropriations bill, which requires Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to refuse entry to individuals and immediate family members if he has information that they’ve been “involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights.”
“Those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States,” the State Department said in a statement.
Khashoggi was killed last Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Questions have centered on whether the crown prince knew about or ordered the killing, a possibility U.S. intelligence agencies consider likely, and whether the Trump administration will be willing to sacrifice its strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia to hold him accountable.
Monday’s announcement comes at a delicate time. On Friday, The Associated Press reported that the Saudi authorities had detained 12 people, including two dual American citizens, in a round of arrests against people supportive of women’s rights.
Pompeo has repeatedly insisted the U.S. will do what’s necessary to punish those responsible for the death of Khashoggi, a former Saudi insider turned critic who had moved to the U.S. and was a columnist for The Washington Post.
In congressional testimony in March, Pompeo said President Donald Trump has “made very clear that we will continue to work to identify those who are responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and hold them accountable.”
Trump has been eager to prevent Khashoggi’s killing from complicating or weakening U.S. ties to the kingdom, around which the administration has built much of its Middle East strategy. But senators from both parties have demanded the White House be more forthcoming about intelligence gathered on what happened to Khashoggi, and have signaled they may back broader sanctions against Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this month, the U.S. House voted to direct Trump to withdraw support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.
©2019 Bloomberg News
Visit Bloomberg News at www.bloomberg.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
WASHINGTON — The recent summit between U.S. President Biden and Russian President Putin has been hailed by both countries as an opportunity to reevaluate the nations' relationship. While the three-hour conversation may not have inspired confidence toward ensuring stability, the meeting did reflect Russia’s ongoing importance... Read More
WASHINGTON — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlined his vision for a renewed trans-Atlantic Alliance before the Brooking Institution earlier this month, declaring that the alliance will “seize the opportunity to keep our people safe in a more contested world.” NATO’s 30-nation strategic international partnership has,... Read More
President Joe Biden on Tuesday moved to end a 17-year dispute with the European Union over how big a government subsidy each can provide to its major aircraft manufacturer. That’s Boeing in the case of the U.S.; Airbus in the case of the European Union. The... Read More
The White House announced Thursday that the United States will purchase and donate half a billion Pfizer vaccines to 92 low- and lower middle-income countries and the African Union, a historic action intended to supercharge the global fight against the pandemic. In a statement, the White... Read More
LONDON — Finance Ministers from the Group of 7 have struck a landmark agreement to establish a 15% global minimum tax rate, discouraging large multinational companies from shifting profits to offshore tax-havens. The deal, announced over the weekend, was struck by the top economic officials from... Read More
One of the largest elections in Mexico's history, widely described as a referendum on the president and the future of Mexico, took place over the weekend. Preliminary results show that although it will remain dominant, the president's party is projected to lose its absolute majority in... Read More