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U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has refused to impose sanctions directly on Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite the recently released CIA assessment that he “approved an operation […] to capture or kill” Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018. By not punishing MBS, as the Kingdom’s de facto ruler is widely known, Biden has disappointed many. But he correctly put one of America’s most important foreign relationships first.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken summed up the administration’s stance well, saying that, while America wants to “recalibrate” U.S.-Saudi ties, the bilateral relationship “is bigger than any one person.” Blinken’s statement, which could apply equally to the murdered Khashoggi as to MBS, underscores an important fact.

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