Though Saudi officials have yet to comment on the specifics of the decision-making process, the planned Saudi National Day diplomatic reception at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington D.C. has been quietly cancelled.
The National Day event is an annual celebration for diplomats, and was set for Thursday evening. While officials haven’t admitted as much, the cancellation is clearly tied to the mounting diplomatic crisis around the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The cancellation happened amid reports that the Saudis are in the process of finalizing a statement in which they will admit to killing Khashoggi in the course of an interrogation at the Istanbul Consulate. It may be they are anticipating fallout from that.
There is clearly diplomatic tension between the US and Saudis. Trump has threatened vague punishment, so long as it doesn’t cost the US any arms sales. The Saudis have threatened major economic measures against the US, including driving up the price of oil.