Istanbul — Hatice Cengiz, the journalist’s fianceeWhen she was brutally murdered inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Turkey in 2018, she told CBS News she was “disappointed” by President Biden’s decision to go to Saudi Arabia and meet with the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Huh. He said the US president’s sitting with a man widely accused of plotting the horrific murder of his fiancé would be “a great betrayal”.
Khashoggi, a Saudi national writing for The Washington Post, went to the consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents to marry Cengiz on October 2, 2018. He was murdered soon after entering the building. Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecutor’s Office said his body was mutilated and was never found.
A US intelligence report published by the Biden administration in March 2021On bin Salman, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, often referred to by his initials, MBS. The report concluded that the Crown Prince “approved an operation to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey.”
Bin Salman has denied ordering the killing, blaming his subordinates.
President Biden has previously condemned Saudi Arabia’s royal leaders for their role in the assassination.
Campaigning to win the presidency, Mr Biden said he would make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” and punish state leaders for their role in Khashoggi’s death.
Mr Biden said in 2019, “Indeed, Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered, and I believe the order of the Crown Prince.” We were going to make them, in fact, pay them the price and make them, in fact, those pariahs. Under the current government in Saudi Arabia – there is little social redeeming value.”
But on Friday, amid soaring global gas prices, Mr Biden was to touch down in the oil-rich Saudi capital as part of a wider Middle East visit. He was expected to meet King Salman, and later in an extensive meeting with his son, MBS.
A senior Biden administration official said ahead of the president’s visit to the state that it was unclear how Mr Biden would interact with MBS at the meeting. Mr Biden was asked directly on Thursday whether he would raise the issue of the journalist’s murder with the Crown Prince, but did not give a clear response.
“My views on Khashoggi are absolutely, positively clear. And I’ve never been silent about talking about human rights,” he said in Israel. “I always come up with human rights. But my position on Khashoggi is so clear. If someone doesn’t understand Saudi Arabia or anywhere else, they haven’t been around for a while.”
“The reason I’m going to Saudi Arabia is very broad,” Biden said, adding that the mission was “to promote American interests.”
“I think we have an opportunity to re-emphasize that we made the mistake of moving away from our influence in the Middle East,” the president said. He said he wanted to persuade bin Salman to produce more oil to help lower gas prices.
In Cengiz’s opinion, there is not enough reason to sit down with a man accused of having a direct role in the murder of his fiancée.
“When I heard about Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, I was very disappointed,” she told CBS News. “Meeting with MBS would be a huge betrayal to all MBS victims, including Jamal.”
Cengiz, who waited outside the consulate in Istanbul for her fiancee to die again, said she was “full of love, hopes and dreams” before her murder. “It started out as a love story, but then suddenly it turned into pain and conflict.”
When Khashoggi could not come back out of the consulate, he raised the alarm and since then heTo the men who killed him to face justice. Cengiz has filed a lawsuit in the US against MBS and 20 other suspects.
“What I expect from this trial is that the court will announce who is guilty [party]Whom we all know is MBS, the Crown Prince, and send the message that there is still hope for justice,” she told CBS News.
But since the announcement of Mr Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia his hopes of securing genuine US government support in that mission have waned.
The ultra-Orthodox Islamic kingdom has long been accused of human rights violations. The Saudi Press Agency reported that the country executed 81 people in one day in March, the largest mass execution recorded in its history.
Maya Foa of human rights organization Repriv said the US leader’s visit would send a wrong signal to the Saudi government.
Foa told CBS News, “We need to see President Biden stand up for the principles he himself has supported. He said he would not support a state that attacks and kills journalists.” Which gives death penalty to children, tortures victims, protesters.” “Therefore, we need to put those words into action. We need to see the condemnation of abuses … We cannot trade oil with blood.”
In late August, a Washington DC court will hold a hearing to consider motions brought by defendants to dismiss the case brought by Cengiz.
Cengiz said she will be looking into it carefully, and that she will “follow this matter until I find justice and accountability.”