Defending Biden Administration's decision to not impose sanctions on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman right away, Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, has said there are "more effective ways" to hold Saudi Arabia responsible in Jamal Khashoggi's murder case, reports local media.
Psaki said, "We believe there is more effective ways to make sure this doesn't happen again and to also be able to leave room to work with the Saudis on areas where there is mutual agreement -- where there is national interests for the United States. That is what diplomacy looks like."
Elucidating on what global engagements look like, Psaki has made it clear that the US would be holding "them accountable on the global stage and with direct actions," reports CNN.
The declassified report released on Friday said that the crown prince had approved the killing of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Following this, Antony Blinken, Secretary of State announced visa restrictions on 76 Saudis said to have been involved in harassing journalists and activists.
The announcement, however, did not mention any sanctions to be imposed on the crown prince himself, something President Joe Biden had promised during his presidential campaigning.
Biden said on Saturday that an announcement would be made on Monday regarding Saudi Arabia in general.
Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director said on Sunday that the new Monday announcement is going to be an "elaboration" to the earlier announcement and "not a new policy announcement."
Also defending the Biden Administration's decision of not imposing sanctions, Bedingfield said, "historically, the United States has not placed sanctions on the leadership of countries that we have diplomatic relations with." Similarly seen in the cases of Russia and China.
The Biden Administration is trying to strike a balance holding Saudi Arabia responsible for its actions but also not jeopardizing its US military interests in the country. As per a State Department official, the administration did not even entertain the idea of targeting the crown prince with sanctions.
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons said at the "State of the Union" that the administration is "not yet down with recalibrating the relationship between the United States and the Saudi kingdom," and that "balancing human rights and our regional interest and security is part of the hard work of diplomacy."