US Senate Urges Donald Trump to Be Firm About Khashoggi Murder

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, on March 20, 2018. Photo: BBC – The United States Senate asked President Donald Trump to ascertain whether the Saudi crown prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was instrumental in the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

For this reason, Trump was encouraged to hold a second investigation specifically aimed at the prince so he could “determine whether foreigners are responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other serious violations”.

The request was made by Senator Bob Menendez and Senator Bob Corker as leaders of the Democratic and Republican factions in the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a letter.

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Under the Magnitsky Global Human Rights Accountability Act, the request must be responded to within 120 days. Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham predicts bipartisan support in the US Congress in imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia, “including members of the royal family”.

Through an official statement, Trump said the Saudi crown prince was “very likely” to know of Khashoggi’s murder. But then he added, “maybe yes, maybe not”.

He also said the CIA intelligence agency had not confirmed “100%” of the Khashoggi murder case. Trump said this place is very dangerous, while flattering Saudi Arabia as a US ally in the face of Iran.

Saudi Arabia has spends “billions of dollars for leading the battle against terrorism” while Iran has “kills many Americans and innocent people in the Middle East”. Trump emphasizes the importance of Saudi investment and the purchase of weapons from the US.

“If we foolishly cancel this contract, Russia and China will be very large beneficiaries,” he added. Despite acknowledging the “terrible” murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Trump stated “we might never know about all the facts” about his death.

“The United States intends to remain a loyal partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.” [dn]

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