US President Joe Biden has talked by phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia as he seeks to put relations with America's old ally on a new footing.

He "affirmed the importance" the US "places on universal human rights and the rule of law", the White House said.

Mr Biden made the call after reading a forthcoming US report into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, pursued closer ties with Saudi Arabia.

The White House says Mr Biden will "recalibrate" the relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a US-based journalist and critic of Saudi Arabia's government, was murdered in 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul, and his body dismembered.

Saudi authorities blamed his death on a "rogue operation" by a team of agents sent to return him to the kingdom, and a Saudi court tried and sentenced five individuals to 20 years in prison last September, after initially sentencing them to death.

February 26, 2021
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