Saudis reject Senate's rebuke of crown prince in Khashoggi killing

Saudis reject Senate's rebuke of crown prince in Khashoggi killing

Saudis reject Senate's rebuke of crown prince in Khashoggi killing

The Republican-controlled Senate voted on Thursday to end United States military support for the Saudi-led Arab coalition's war against the Houthi rebels and, separately, to accuse Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of responsibility for Khashoggi's killing. Saudi Arabia lashed out on Monday at the U.S. Senate for holding the crown prince personally responsible for the murder of a Saudi dissident in Istanbul, warning against interference in what it called the kingdom's internal affairs.

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.

A separate nonbinding Senate resolution voted to withdraw US military aid to the Saudis over the war in Yemen, in which a Saudi-led coalition is battling Houthi militants, which Riyadh claims are backed by its regional antagonist, Iran.

Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, was killed by Saudi government agents in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

USA lawmakers passed the anti-Saudi resolutions after growing discontent with President Donald Trump's acceptance of the crown prince's innocence, even from within his own Republican Party.

The US government is held in high esteem by the Kingdom, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, it continued.

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor has said Khashoggi was killed on the orders of a rogue intelligence officer. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly rejected Turkish demands to extradite suspects connected to the murder of the journalist, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Reuters reported.

Instead, Trump has remained steadfast in his support of Saudi arms deals worth billions and has thanked the kingdom for its low oil prices.

It stressed that the position taken by the US Senate had been built on "false accusations". The House would have to pass the resolution by year's end and President Trump would have to sign it - two steps that likely will not happen.

"The Kingdom is keen on preserving its relations with the United States of America, and will continue to work towards improving these ties in all areas", the ministry added.

The Arab Parliament (AP) called here on Monday on the U.S. Senate not to interfere in Saudi Arabia's internal affairs and to respect the kingdom's sovereignty.

The murder has damaged Riyadh's global reputation and Western countries, including the United States, France, and Canada, have placed sanctions on almost 20 Saudi nationals.

The Senate also approved a separate measure on Thursday (Friday NZT) to end U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for a "credible" probe into the murder.

Since the coalition launched its campaign in 2015, the conflict has killed almost 10,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.

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