Tempers flared between national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a meeting last year when Sullivan mentioned the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the argument occurred last September when the two met for the first time since President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
People familiar with the discussion told the Journal that Salman shouted at Sullivan after he brought up the 2018 killing of Khashoggi.
”The prince told Mr. Sullivan he never wanted to discuss the matter again,” the source told the newspaper. Salman also told Sullivan that the U.S. “could forget about its request to boost oil production.”
A long-time Washington Post columnist known for criticizing the Saudi kingdom, Khashoggi, 59, was murdered and dismembered on Oct. 2, 2018, in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. He had gone there seeking paperwork for his impending marriage.
A little over a month later, the CIA determined that Khashoggi’s killing had been personally ordered by Salman.
According to the Journal, the U.S.-Saudi relationship is at its lowest point in decades, with divisions only deepening since Russia attacked its neighbor Ukraine in February.
The White House has urged the kingdom to rachet up its crude oil production to counter rising oil prices and throttle Russia’s ability to finance its aggression in Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia has not moved to do so, and its interests remain in line with Russia’s, the Journal reports.
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