Washington D.C. (AMA) – Saudi Arabia has denounced a US Senate resolution to end Washington’s military support for the kingdom and to hold Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) accountable for the murder of journalist Khashoggi last week but faced a new backlash as Canada announced plans to cancel a giant 2014 weapons deal with Riyadh.
“The kingdom condemns the latest position of the US Senate that was built on untrue allegations and affirms a total rejection of any interference in its internal affairs,” Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
Trump and his senior administration officials have claimed that there is no “direct evidence” to link the Saudi leadership to Khashoggi’s killing despite the CIA’s conclusion that it was the Saudi crown prince who ordered Khashoggi’s assassination. Trump has admitted that MbS may have known about the killing but stressed that he has no intention of canceling $110 billion in military contracts with Riyadh.
Riyadh has been heartened by President Donald Trump’s position that Washington will continue to remain a “steadfast partner” of the kingdom.
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The Senate resolution also calls the war in Yemen a “humanitarian crisis” and requires that the President withdraw any troops in or “affecting” Yemen within 30 days “unless they are fighting al-Qaeda.”
It is unclear whether the House will consider the measure. The lower chamber would have to approve the resolution before it can be sent to the White House for Trump’s signature.
Trump has vowed to veto it. If vetoed, the bill would go back to the Senate, where only a two-thirds vote can override a presidential veto.
As evidence emerged of direct Saudi involvement in Khashoggi’s killing, Canada in late November imposed sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals linked to the “abhorrent and extrajudicial” murder.
Last month, Denmark stopped selling weapons to Riyadh, joining Germany and Norway to suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
This post originally ran on al-Masirah and was republished here with explicit permission.
Also published on Medium.