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.
“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.
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.”
Reporting by Mohamed El-Sherif, writing by Stephen Kalin, editing by Chris Reese, Larry King
WATCH: Climate activists chant ‘failure of leadership’ at Tom Perez after DNC votes against climate debate
Activists walked out of the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco after the organization voted against allowing a climate change debate during the 2020 primary.
DNC Chair Tom Perez imposed strict rules on the debates, which prevented a climate change debate from occurring. Climate activists had forced a vote, hoping to overrule the party boss.
"The Democratic Party needs the energy, motivation, and organizing capacity of young people to defeat Trump in 2020. But Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away," the Sunrise Movement said in a statement.
DNC votes against allowing a climate change debate amongst the 2020 hopefuls
Trump’s threat to ‘hereby’ force manufacturers to do his bidding stomped by legal analyst
President Donald Trump is claiming extraordinary powers in his escalating trade war with China.
On Friday, Trump demanded that American companies look for alternatives to China.
"Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the USA," Trump tweeted.
Of course, the president has no power to order such a thing.
Trump then announced massive tariffs on China, citing the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.