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Saudi Arabia slams US Khashoggi resolution

December 17, 2018

Saudi Arabia has rejected a resolution by the US Senate directly blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi. Riyadh has accused Washington of undermining its sovereignty.

Demonstrators in front of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul protest the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
Image: picture-alliance/AA/M. E. Yildirim

Saudi Arabia has "categorically" rejected a resolution from the US Senate blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and another to end American military support for a Riyadh-led war in Yemen.

"The kingdom categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and all accusations ... that disrespect its leadership ... and any attempts to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature," read a statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry released early Monday.

Read more: Yemen is 'the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world'

The statement added that the resolution was "based upon unsubstantiated claims," and said Khashoggi's death was "a deplorable crime that does not reflect the kingdom's policy nor its institutions."

In addition to the Khashoggi vote on Thursday, the upper house of the US Congress also passed the resolution ordering the US to cease cooperation with the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen that has devastated the civilian population there.

Riyadh's 'increasingly erratic foreign policy'

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was a Saudi citizen and permanent resident of the US. His work regularly criticized the rights abuses carried out by the Saudi regime. He was murdered on October 2 after entering Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, where he had gone to obtain papers necessary to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Despite evidence indicating that bin Salman ordered the killing, Saudi Arabia has maintained it was a rogue operation.

US lawmakers passed the anti-Saudi resolutions after growing discontent with President Donald Trump's acceptance of the crown prince's innocence, even from within his own Republican Party. The resolutions cannot be debated in the House of Representatives before January, and are likely to be vetoed by Trump.

The resolutions acknowledge the importance of US-Saudi ties, but call upon Riyadh to moderate "its increasingly erratic foreign policy."

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es/cmk (AFP, dpa)

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