US seeking 'reset' of Saudi ties after Biden said Kingdom would be 'pariah'

Decision to 'reset' ties would effectively move US past Kingdom's killing of Jamal Khashoggi, says CNN.

US seeking 'reset' of Saudi ties after Biden said Kingdom would be 'pariah'

The Biden administration is seeking to fully revamp its relations with Saudi Arabia, according to a report published on Friday. 

The decision to "reset" ties would effectively move the US past the Kingdom's grisly killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi for which US President Joe Biden vowed to make Riyadh a "pariah," CNN reported, citing anonymous senior US officials.

An intelligence report publicly released by the administration last year named Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as being responsible for Khashoggi's 2018 death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His body has never been recovered, and is believed to have been dismembered before being disposed of in either acid or a large incinerator.

But facing record breaking gas prices at home, and international efforts to hold Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine, Biden is ready to move on and revitalize relations with the Kingdom and its de facto ruler.

"Both sides have decided that for the sake of achieving peace and stability in the Middle East, we need to move past it," one official told CNN, referring to Khashoggi's murder.

The officials added that the Saudis consider the matter of Khashoggi's killing to be in the past, and have said that to Washington.

Biden is expected to travel to Israel and Saudi Arabia next month in a visit that was pushed back after initially being expected to be tacked on to the president's upcoming trip to Europe.

Biden's decision to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia elicited a fiery response from Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee.

"President Biden's decision to meet MBS is horribly upsetting to me and supporters of freedom and justice everywhere," she told CNN, referring to the crown prince.

Hüseyin Demir