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US foreign policy

US wants change but not ‘rupture’ with Saudi Arabia: Blinken

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The United States wants a change but not a “rupture” in relations with Saudi Arabia after the publication of intelligence on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday.

“What we’ve done by the actions that we’ve taken is really not to rupture the relationship, but to recalibrate to be more in line with our interests and our values,” Blinken told reporters.

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The report declassified by President Joe Biden alleged that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 operation that led to the murder of Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate, allegations that Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry denied following the report’s publication.

The Saudi government completely rejects the negative, false, and unacceptable assessment of the US intel report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership regarding the murder of the late Jamal Khashoggi, according to a statement released by the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry.

“The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions.,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Blinken told reporters during a press briefing on Friday that he believes Washington’s relationship with Riyadh still remains strong.

“I would say the relationship with Saudi Arabia is an important one. We have significant ongoing interests. We remain committed to the defense of the kingdom. But we also want to make sure – and this is what the President has said from the outset – that the relationship better reflects our interests and our values,” Blinken told reporters.

(With agencies)