MİDDLE EAST

Ex-US ambassador slams lack of action against Saudi on Khashoggi murder

Saudis want to deflect attention 'and this administration is playing right into their hands,' says Robert Jordan

News Service Anadolu Agency

The former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Thursday that the response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a farce in terms of sanctions Washington should be imposing.

Robert Jordan, who served under former President George W. Bush, spoke to CNN and critiqued the actions taken by the U.S. in the 100 days since Khashoggi's killing.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and contributor to The Washington Post, was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Riyadh offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building, seeking to blame his death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents.

"We have seen nothing from this administration other than canceling the visas of some of the henchman which means they can't come here and go to Disneyland. That is a farce in terms the kinds of sanctions we should be imposing," Jordan said in an interview with CNN.

The former ambassador went further to say the U.S. should not repeat their attendance at the Davos in the Desert conference, which has been held for the past two years in Riyadh, and the Saudi Consul General in Istanbul should not be given travel privileges on American soil.

"We talked about limiting the war in Yemen, limiting our assistance, but we haven’t really seen much action in that regard," Jordan added.

Last month, the Senate passed a resolution to end the U.S. support for the Saudi-led war efforts in Yemen, in a rebuke to the longtime American ally.

The bill, however, was unable to reach the House of Representatives due to a provision passed in the chamber.

"I think they do believe they got away with it. I think they want to turn the page, deflect attention, and this administration is playing right into their hands," Jordan said.

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