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DC advances proposal to rename street outside Saudi Embassy after Khashoggi

A neighborhood group in Washington, D.C., unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday to rename the street in front of the Saudi embassy in honor of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was killed in October.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A (ANC) approved the nonbinding resolution Wednesday night. It will have to be approved by the D.C. Council and would also be subject to congressional review.

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“I think our concern...and the need to say we want to weigh in on this issue, which has international implications, is that we are extremely disappointed over the lack of concern” from the White House regarding the incident, commissioner James Harnett told CNN.

“It's our belief...that when there's a vacuum of leadership that someone steps up and makes sure that the community knows that this is something that we take seriously.” 

Reports emerged earlier this month that the CIA has concluded with a high degree of certainty that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's killing.

President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE, however, questioned the CIA report last week.

“The CIA doesn’t say they did it. They do point out certain things. And pointing out those things, you can conclude that maybe he did or maybe he didn’t,” he said. “They didn’t conclude. They did not come to a conclusion. They have feelings certain ways. … Nobody’s concluded. I don’t know if anyone’s going to be able to conclude that the crown prince did,” he added.

Harnett said the renaming of the street would "force the Saudis to remember" Khashoggi.

“This action will force the Saudis to remember, every day. This assault on the press is unforgivable and is deeply harmful to fabric of the truth,” he said. “Leaders at all levels of government need to stand up in whatever ways they can to support people, make their lives better, and push for what's right. Up against the leaders who have abandoned their duty, this proposal is our way of pushing back.” 

 

Khashoggi was killed on Oct. 2 upon entering the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. 

Turkish officials have said a 15-member Saudi team killed Khashoggi and dismembered his body after he entered the consulate. Saudi Arabia has charged 11 people in connection to the dissident journalist's death, including former deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri, who is thought to be close to the crown prince.

The White House earlier this month announced sanctions against 17 Saudis for their alleged involvement in the killing, including Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to the crown prince.

Washington renamed the street in front of the Russian embassy earlier this year after Boris Nemtsov, a slain critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nemtsov was killed near the Kremlin three years ago by an unknown assailant. Moscow has denied any involvement in his murder.