An American senator attacked the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and said that it had caused an unprecedented retreat of the Kingdom’s position over the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in early October 2018.
The US Senator Lindsey Graham said that what happened with Khashoggi shows a complete lack of respect for the Saudi-American relationship.
Graham pointed out that “Bin Salman came to Washington two or three years ago to attend an honor regarding the end of the first Gulf War, and I presented Bin Salman and Senator McCain was very close,” adding that “after Khashoggi, everything differed.”
He went on to say: “What happened there violates every natural civilized society, and if it is ignored, we will live to regret it, so this issue is among the situations that you have to work to solve.”
And he added, “I am a member of the Congress, let me tell you the status of the Kingdom in the Congress… to my friends in the Kingdom, your shares are bad and more low than I have ever seen.”
He added: “The only way to change that is to change, so I look forward to a change, and after I say that, they are still allies.”
On October 2, 2018, “Khashoggi” was assassinated, inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, and the case has become among the most prominent and widely discussed in the international agenda since then.
After 18 days of denial, during which Riyadh provided conflicting explanations for the incident, the Kingdom announced the death of Khashoggi after a “fight” with Saudi people, and the arrest of 18 citizens as part of the investigations, without revealing the location of the body.
And last July, the UN reporter published a 101-page report, in which it held Riyadh as a state responsible for the deliberate killing of Khashoggi.
Last Friday, the US Congress gave the country’s intelligence agencies 30 days to reveal the names involved in the “Khashoggi” murder.
The Guardian said that the US House of Representatives passed a large majority, last Wednesday, the annual defense budget known as the “National Defense Powers Act”, which the Senate will approve after about a week, then President Donald Trump will sign it.
The bill included provisions urging punishment for the “Khashoggi” killers, but during discussions that took place before its approval, the White House pressed for the removal of these provisions, in addition to other provisions calling for stopping US military support for the war in Yemen.
According to the New York Times, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, has played a leading role in exerting such pressure not to punish the Saudis.
However, the Guardian says, the law – in its final form – retained a language requiring the director of national intelligence “CIA” to identify those responsible for the “Khashoggi” killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.