The resolution passed unanimously in US Senate contradicts President Trump and blames Saudi Crown Prince for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
By Carolina McCabe
Rabat – On Thursday, the Senate unanimously adopted a non-binding resolution condemning Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and concluding Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing. The resolution, introduced by Republican Bob Corker, will go to the House on December 19.
“Unanimously, the United States Senate has said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is a strong statement. I think it speaks to the values that we hold dear,” said Senator Corker. “I’m glad the Senate is speaking with one voice unanimously toward this end.”
Just offered a joint resolution with a number of my colleagues to condemn the murder of Jamal #Khashoggi and hold the Saudi Crown Prince accountable. It will send a strong signal to MbS, and we are hopeful it will pass today. Read more: https://t.co/k1HnA2owGJ. pic.twitter.com/ibCFVJj4RV
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) December 13, 2018
The resolution employs strong language and states the that Senate “believes Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi” and “calls for the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure appropriate accountability for all those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.”
Prior to the vote, the Senate also approved a measure by a 56-41 vote that would require the US to end its military support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen. The two resolutions signal Congress’s increasing dissatisfaction with the Trump administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia
“What the United States Senate said today, in a very loud way, is that we will not continue to have our military posture dictated by a despotic murderous regime in Saudi Arabia, a regime which does not respect democracy, does not respect human rights, a regime whose leader, nobody doubts, was involved in the horrific murder of a dissident journalist in the Saudi consulate in Turkey,” Senator Bernie Sanders told reporters.
The resolutions counteract President Trump’s recent statements regarding the murder. On December 12, Trump told Reuters that Saudi Arabia has “been a very good ally” and reasserted that the “Crown Prince vehemently denies” involvement. However, the CIA concluded that the Saudi Crown Prince did order the October 2 murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia acknowledges Khashoggi’s murder and arrested various people possibly involved in the killing. Five of those arrested face the death penalty.
In the Senate’s resolution, members also call upon Saudi Arabia to release jailed women’s rights activists, including Raif Badawi and Samar Badawi. Advocating for women’s suffrage and increased participation of women in Saudi government and society led to the activists’ arrest.