US President Joe Biden said that he informed Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz during their phone conversation Thursday that major changes in relations with Riyadh will be announced on Friday and Monday.
"I spoke with the king ... I honestly told him that the rules are changing and that we will announce big changes today (Friday) and Monday. We will hold them accountable for human rights violations," Biden said during an interview with Univision.
He added that Riyadh must address those violations if it is to engage with Washington.
On Friday, US intelligence released a copy of its report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside his country's consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
As a result, the US Treasury announced the imposition of sanctions on Major General Ahmed Asiri, former deputy chief of Saudi intelligence, and the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force, for their involvement in the assassination of Khashoggi.
As for the US State Department, it announced a ban on entry to 76 Saudis in accordance with a new policy called “Khashoggi’s ban,” and said it would not tolerate any threats to activists, dissidents and journalists, or attacks on them on behalf of foreign governments.
For her part, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said in statements to Public Radio (NPR) that it is not surprising to see a transformation in US-Saudi relations under a new administration.
And she expressed her belief that there are ways to overcome what she described as the storms that await the relationship between the two countries.
On the other hand, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said that the Kingdom categorically rejects what was stated in the US intelligence report regarding the murder of Khashoggi, and added that the report contained "abusive and incorrect conclusions" about the kingdom's leaders and could not be accepted.
At the same time, she stressed that the partnership between Riyadh and Washington is "a strong and solid partnership."
On Thursday, the US President and the King of Saudi Arabia discussed - in their first telephone conversation - aspects of the partnership between the two countries and issues of regional security and human rights.
The White House said Biden told King Salman that he would work to make the bilateral relationship as strong and transparent as possible.
The official Saudi Press Agency said that King Salman stressed, during the call, "the depth of the relationship that binds the two countries and the importance of strengthening the partnership between them to serve their interests and achieve security and stability in the region and the world."