The street where the Saudi embassy in Washington is located was renamed on Wednesday after Jamal Khashoggi, the brutally killed Saudi journalist, who is commemorated a month before a controversial visit by President Joe Biden to the Persian Gulf kingdom, reports AFP.
The capital of the United States capital unveiled the plaque with the “Jamal Khashoggi Road”, as a tribute to the dissident killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul in 2018.
The ceremony took place the day after the announcement of the US president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, in mid-July, when he will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, accused by the American intelligence services of approving the assassination of the Washington Post journalist.
The new street name will serve as a “constant reminder” so that the memory of Jamal Khashoggi can never be erased, “said Phil Mendelson, the city council chairman who voted unanimously in favor of the new name.
Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni activist who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, said at the ceremony that the upcoming presidential visit shows that “Biden has abandoned his commitment to defend human rights around the world.”
Sarah Leah Whitson of the human rights organization Democracy for the Arab World Now, founded by Jamal Khashoggi, denounced a “shameless capitulation” by the Democratic leader.
“We want to remind those who hide behind these doors that every day, every hour, every minute, from now on, it will be Jamal Khashoggi Street, “she said, pointing to the embassy in front of her.
“We will hold them accountable for the assassination of our friend (…) who dared to challenge the tyranny of Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), ”Whitson added.
President Joe Biden had said before his election to the White House that Saudi Arabia should be treated as a pariah state and promised, after coming to power, a recalibration of relations with this US strategic partner, especially valued by his Republican predecessor Donald Trump. . Joe Biden then announced that he was refusing to have a direct dialogue with Crown Prince MBS.
This is not the first symbolic gesture by Washington. The Russian embassy is located in Boris Nemtsov Square, named after the reformist politician killed near the Kremlin in 2015.
On the other hand, the desire to rename the street where the Chinese embassy is located in memory of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner who died in detention, was met with intense opposition from Beijing.
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