US refuses to say whether crown prince one of 76 Saudis hit by visa ban

US refuses to say whether crown prince one of 76 Saudis hit by visa ban
The crown prince in Riyadh on Sunday. Source: AFP/Getty Images
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: The US state department has refused to confirm whether Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is one of the officials subject to US visa restrictions under the new “Khashoggi ban”.

The ban is named after the exiled Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, whose murder and dismemberment in 2018 in Instanbul’s Saudi consulate building was approved by the crown prince, according to a US intelligence assessment declassified on Friday.

The state department has said 76 Saudi nationals are subject to restrictions under the ban. The ban also covers those deemed to have been involved in efforts to intimidate Saudi dissidents in the US.

State department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday would not say whether Prince Mohammed was on the list.

Price said: “We are not in a position to detail the identity of those included in that list of 76, nor will we be able to preview those who may be added in the future.”

When pressed on the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, he added: “I’m not including or excluding anyone specifically on that list.

“Having said that, I’m certainly not aware of any plans for the crown prince to travel to the United States in the near term,” he said.

The spokesperson laid out a “recalibration” of US relations with Saudi Arabia which he stressed was “not a rupture”.

Over the weekend, President Joe Biden had said there would be an announcement of “significant” changes to Saudi Arabia policy on Monday.

You may read: Fauci urges to take any of three Covid vaccines available