Hatice Cengiz accused the US president of double standards as he condemned Russia for human rights abuses but sought to improve relations with Saudi Arabia
Hatice Cengiz waited for Khashoggi outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, unaware that he was being killed and dismembered [Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty]
The fiancée of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has urged US President Joe Biden to cancel his visit to the Gulf kingdom, scheduled for next week.
In an editorial for the Washington Post Published on Wednesday, Hatice Cengiz recounted how her late fiancé, a columnist for the American newspaper and a vocal critic of Saudi leaders, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 to obtain a document to finalize their marriage, but never left the building .
US intelligence said Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in a gruesome murder ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
During the presidential race, Biden had vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state because of the murder.
However, his stance towards Saudi leaders has softened during his presidency, leading to plans for a trip to the Gulf kingdom next week during which he is expected to urge Riyadh to increase oil production.
“You can imagine how shocked and disappointed I was to learn that you would break your promise and travel to Saudi Arabia to possibly meet the Crown Prince – the person who US intelligence believed was responsible for ordering Jamal’s murder,” Cengiz wrote.
She also criticized the US president for his selective stance on human rights abuses by different leaders.
“You condemn Russia for persecuting dissidents and committing war crimes in Ukraine. But the Saudis are committing the same horrific human rights abuses. Why are they being given a pass? oil price?
“I implore you to cancel your trip and keep your promise to pursue justice for Jamal,” Cengiz wrote.
Justice for Khashoggi looks increasingly elusive after Turkey dropped charges against 26 Saudis involved in the killing in June.
The trial halt came as Saudi Arabia and Turkey held talks to improve relations.