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Saudi Arabia denounces US Senate resolutions on Khashoggi, Yemen

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Saudi Arabia on Monday denounced U.S. Senate resolutions calling for an end to U.S. military support for the war in Yemen and blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying they were based on unsubstantiated claims.

The votes last Thursday were a rare rebuke to President Donald Trump, but largely symbolic. To become law, they would need to pass the House of Representatives, whose Republican leaders have blocked any legislation intended to rebuke the Saudis.

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“The Kingdom categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and all accusations, in any manner, that disrespect its leadership … and any attempts to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Khashoggi, a royal insider who became a critic of Prince Mohammed and began writing for the Washington Post after moving to the United States last year, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October. Saudi officials have rejected accusations that the crown prince ordered his death.

The murder has sparked global outrage and damaged the international reputation of 33-year-old Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto leader, who is pushing economic and social changes in the world’s top oil exporter.

Saudi Arabia has also come under increased scrutiny for civilian deaths and a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where it support the internationally-recognized government against Iranian-aligned Houthis in a nearly four-year-old civil war.

At U.N.-mediated talks in Sweden last week, the warring parties agreed to a local ceasefire to try to avert more bloodshed in the port of Hodeidah, which is vital for food and aid supplies.

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Opponents of the Senate resolutions want to maintain the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which they consider an essential counterweight in the Middle East to Iran.

Administration officials also see Saudi support as a linchpin for an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan yet to be disclosed by the Trump administration. And they have argued that ending U.S. support could complicate Yemen peace efforts.

The Saudi statement said the kingdom “hopes that it is not drawn into domestic political debates in the United States of America, to avoid any ramifications on the ties between the two countries that could have significant negative impacts on this important strategic relationship.”

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Reporting by Mohamed El-Sherif, writing by Stephen Kalin, editing by Chris Reese, Larry King


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump already planning his victory lap for impeachment acquittal: report

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President Donald Trump is already planning his victory lap for his presumed acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.

The president and his aides haven't agreed on a plan yet, and it's not clear that new revelations from John Bolton's upcoming book will force Republican senators to agree to witness testimony, but they're discussing how he should celebrate once the trial ends, reported Politico.

“The president is giving a lot of thought to where he goes when he is acquitted and vindicated,” a senior administration official told the website. “This isn’t a one-and-done moment. This will be a sustained exit from a long dreary impeachment process and a great reset to 2020 — not just the 2020 reelection but the 2020 domestic and international arena.”

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#ILeftTheGOP: Former Republicans reveal why they fled the party in wake of Trump’s latest coverup

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Leaked contents from former national security adviser John Bolton's upcoming book sent shock waves through Washington, D.C. on Sunday and raised the possibility that Senate Republicans will be seen as engaging in a blatant coverup if they don't agree to have him testify.

In the wake of the Bolton bombshell, several former Republicans took to Twitter to explain why they left the party by using the hashtag "#ILeftTheGOP."

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Adam Schiff: GOP senators should allow Bolton to testify or face the music when his book comes out

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Appearing on CNN's "New Day," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) -- who is leading the impeachment prosecution of Donald Trump on the Senate floor -- said Republicans can now either agree to let former national security adviser John Bolton to testify about the president's Ukraine scandal or face the wrath of voters when the former White House aide's book comes out.

Late Sunday the New York Times reported, "President Trump directly tied the withholding of almost $400 million in American security aid to investigations that he sought from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript of a book that John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, wrote about his time in the White House." 

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