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Saudi Arabia Slams U.S. Senate Resolutions Over Khashoggi Murder, Yemen War

Saudi Arabia on Monday slammed United States Senate resolutions passed last week calling for an end to American military support for the war in Yemen and blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Riyadh described the latter charge as “unsubstantiated,” despite a CIA assessment that the young ruler was intimately involved in Khashoggi’s October killing by a hit squad in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. “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 Saudi Foreign Ministry statement read. As regards Yemen, a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni-Muslim states intervened in the conflict in 2015 after Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels captured the capital Sanaa and forced into exile President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Since then, both sides have been accused of indiscriminately bombarding civilian areas, as nearly half of Yemen’s population—some 14 million people—have been pushed to the brink of starvation. The Senate’s move was widely construed as a rebuke of President Donald Trump’s insistence on maintaining close ties with Riyadh, which the White House deems a key player in its primary foreign policy goal of rolling back Iran’s expansionism and preventing its nuclearization. The Senate resolutions are, nevertheless, only symbolic given that leaders of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives previously blocked similar legislation.

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