Saudi Arabia condemns US Senate ‘interference’

The crown Prince (left) with President Trump (right

The crown Prince (left) with President Trump (right)

Saudi Arabia has reacted angrily after the United States’ Senate voted to withdraw military aid for the war in Yemen, where the Saudis are leading a coalition fighting rebels.

The Senate also blamed the Saudi crown prince for the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, a United States (US) resident.

Saudi Arabia described the vote as “interference” based on “untrue allegations”.

Thursday’s Senate resolution was mostly symbolic and unlikely to become law.

However, it has been seen as a rebuke to Donald Trump’s Saudi policies.

It was the first time a chamber of the US Congress had agreed to pull US forces from a military conflict under the 1973 War Powers Act.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, and has received logistical and intelligence support from the US.

The kingdom has also come under pressure since Khashoggi, columnist for the Washington Post, was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2.

In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, the foreign ministry said: “The kingdom condemns the latest position of the US Senate.”

It said that such a position “was built on untrue allegations” and that Saudi Arabia rejected ” any interference in its internal affairs”.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, and the Saudi government have insisted that he knew nothing about Khashoggi’s killing.

“The Kingdom has previously asserted that the murder of Saudi citizen, Khashoggi is a deplorable crime that does not reflect the Kingdom’s policy or its institutions. and reaffirms its rejection of any attempts to take the case out of the path of justice in the Kingdom,” the foreign ministry said.

The US has so far not publicly responded to the Saudi statement.

A non-binding resolution called upon Mr Trump to remove all US forces engaging in hostilities in Yemen, except for those combating Islamist extremists.

Some of President Trump’s fellow Republicans defied him to pass the measure with Democrats by 56-41.

The US suspended refuelling Saudi war planes last month, and Thursday’s resolution – if it were ultimately passed into law – would prohibit that practice from resuming.

 

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