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US says legal immunity for prince has ‘nothing to do’ with Saudi relations

WH says legal immunity for Saudi Prince has 'nothing to do' with US-Saudi relations
Source: Pixabay

The White House argued Friday that a recent US government court filing saying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has immunity from legal action over the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is unrelated to bilateral relations.

“This legal determination has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of the case itself,” said White House national security spokesman John Kirby, referring to the civil lawsuit against the crown prince and other Saudis by Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee.

Moreover, the determination “has absolutely nothing to do with the bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia, which as you know, is tense right now,” he said, pointing to Riyadh’s recent support for OPEC’s decreased oil output, which angered the US government.

President Joe Biden “has been very, very clear, very vocally so, about the brutal and barbaric murder of Mr. Khashoggi,” Kirby said.

He added that Biden “has worked to hold the regime accountable.”

Kirby also pointed to Biden’s order for a review of the US-Saudi relationship, which has been extremely close for decades.

Biden wants to make sure the relationship “is serving the interests of our national security and and the American people,” he said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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