The Saudi Embassy in Washington has a new address: “Rue Jamal Khashoggi”

The Saudi Embassy in Washington has a new address: “Rue Jamal Khashoggi”

The street in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington was renamed Wednesday after Jamal Khashoggi, the slain Saudi journalist whose memory was honored a month before Joe Biden’s controversial visit to the Gulf kingdom. The City Hall of the United States capital has unveiled the “Jamal Khashoggi Way” sign in honor of the dissident killed in his country’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Coincidentally, the ceremony took place the day after the American president’s trip to Saudi Arabia was announced in mid-July, where he is due to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but who has been accused by American intelligence of “confirming” the president’s assassination, according to the columnist the Washington Post. The new street will serve as a “permanent reminder” and “a memorial so that the memory of Jamal Khashoggi can never be erased,” said City Council President Phil Mendelson, who voted unanimously in favor of the new name. Tawakkol Karman, the Yemeni activist who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, said at the ceremony that the president’s future visit means “Biden has abandoned his commitment to defending human rights around the world.”

Sarah Leah Whitson of Jamal Khashoggi-founded human rights organization Democracy for the Arab World Now denounced a “shameless capitulation” by the Democrat leader. “We want to remind the people hiding behind these doors that this will be Jamal Khashoggi Street every day, every hour, every minute from now on,” she said, pointing to the message in front of her. “We will hold them responsible for the murder of our friend (…) who dared to challenge the tyranny of Mohammed bin Salman”.

Prior to his election to the White House, Joe Biden had assessed that Saudi Arabia should be treated as a “pariah” state and promised, when he comes to power, a “recalibration” of relations with America’s strategic partner, which is so rare his Republican predecessor Donald Trump is spoiled by him. He then announced that he would refuse to swap directly with the prince “MBS” until the reverse transaction announced on Tuesday had taken place. This is not the first symbolic coup for the city of Washington. The Russian embassy is located on Boris Nemtsov Square, named after the reform politician who was killed near the Kremlin in 2015. However, a desire to rename the Chinese Embassy street in honor of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who died in custody in 2010, met with fierce opposition from Beijing.