The widow of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi says President Joe Biden has promised to bring up her husband's name when he meets with top Saudi officials this week.
Appearing on Spectrum News, Hanan Elatr Khashoggi said: "This is [an] opportunity for me to thank President Biden and his administration. He did keep his promise by bringing [the] report of intelligence out in February last year, and he did take action, assertive action against [those involved] in my husband's tragedy."
Kashoggi, who was a U.S. resident working for The Washington Post, disappeared on Oct. 2, 2018, after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents to marry his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz. Cengiz was waiting for him in a car, but he never returned, and security footage showed another man dressed in Khashoggi's clothing leaving through the back of the consulate.
Several men have been tried in connection with Khashoggi's killing, but the whereabouts of his body have never been determined.
Allegations that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's death led Biden to label Saudi Arabia a "pariah" state, hardening relations with the oil-rich Mideast ally. But with oil prices spiking amid inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden is now asking the Saudis for a favor.
Khashoggi's widow said Biden's visit is "practical" from a diplomatic standpoint, saying that "Jamal would not like it" if diplomacy were disrupted.
Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee, gave a less happy response in an Associated Press interview Thursday, calling Biden's visit "heartbreaking" after he refused to publicly pledge to bring up Khashoggi's case.
Though Khashoggi's widow says White House officials assured her in a Tuesday meeting that Biden would bring up her husband's name, the White House would confirm only that she "met with a staffer in a routine engagement."
Biden himself said in a Thursday press conference in Israel: "I always bring up human rights. But my position on Khashoggi has been so clear. If anyone doesn't understand it, in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else, then they haven't been around for a while.''
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