The US Government announced a visa ban on Friday targeting 76 Saudi Arabian citizens over the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and have announced further sanctions, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is not on the sanctions list.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated the world was horrified by Khashoggi’s murder and announced a visa restriction policy named after the Saudi journalist.
The decision appears to preserve a working relationship with the Saudi Kingdom as the Crown Prince was exempt from sanctions, even though US intelligence concluded that he approved the operation to capture or kill Khashoggi in their investigation report.
Biden administration officials say the decisions on sanctions and visa bans is a clear statement on how the US wants to see the future US-Saudi relationship.
It will also still allow the US to preserve a working relationship with the crown prince, the country’s influential de facto ruler.
Khashoggi was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, and killed by a team of operatives linked to the crown prince. They then dismembered his body. His remains have never been found.