Saudi Arabia

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Re: Saudi Arabia

#151

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:18 am

New York Times
Turkish Officials Say Khashoggi Was Killed on Order of Saudi Leadership

ANKARA, Turkey — Top Turkish security officials have concluded that the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from the highest levels of the royal court, a senior official said Tuesday.

The official described a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate by a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose.

“It is like ‘Pulp Fiction,’” the official said.

Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have denied the allegations, insisting that Mr. Khashoggi left the consulate freely shortly after he arrived. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has demanded that the Saudis provide evidence proving their claim.

It remains unclear how the Turkish government determined that Mr. Khashoggi had been killed, but the conclusion that the Saudi royal court ordered it could increase the pressure on both sides of the dispute. It would make it more difficult for the two governments to come up with a face-saving story blaming Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance on some third party, on rogue elements of the Saudi security forces, or on an accident during an interrogation that went wrong.

Turkish officials have left things murky enough — speaking on condition of anonymity and refusing to publicly disclose their evidence — that such possibilities cannot be ruled out. Some pro-government news outlets have reported that the police were still investigating the possibility that Mr. Khashoggi was abducted, not killed.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#152

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:27 pm

WaPo
Crown prince sought to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him, U.S. intercepts show

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.

The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say that a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist and killed him.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government and Mohammed in particular. Several of Khashoggi’s friends said that over the past four months, senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had called Khashoggi to offer him protection, and even a high-level job working for the government, if he returned to his home country.

Khashoggi, however, was skeptical of the offers. He told one friend that the Saudi government would never make good on its promises not to harm him.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#153

Post by HST's Ghost » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:06 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Missing journalist is ALIVE and being held captive in Saudi Arabia after being spirited out of Turkey in a private jet, claims source close to the kingdom's royal family
Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia and a Washington Post columnist, went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday
Allegations surfaced the journalist had been chopped up inside the building and his body parts sent back to Saudi Arabia in boxes
But Khashoggi was flown to Dubai and then Riyadh on a private jet, where he is now being held, a source close to the Saudi royal family told DailyMail.com
Flight records show that a Gulf Stream IV private jet, tail number HZ-SK2, landed in Istanbul at 3am on October 2, the day Khashoggi disappeared
The source was told Khashoggi is still alive, contradicting the claims he was murdered in the Istanbul embassy
The Turkish government is demanding access to the consulate, saying Saudi Arabia needs to prove Khashoggi has, in fact, left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul
President Trump said he was 'concerned' about Khashoggi's disappearance, saying: 'I don't like hearing about it and hopefully that will sort itself out'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... rabia.html


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Re: Saudi Arabia

#154

Post by Flatpointhigh » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:20 pm

and that's why his fiancé was told he walked past her as she waited in their car.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#155

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:22 am

The Atlantic
The U.S.-Saudi Relationship Is Out of Control

But even Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance may not force the Trump administration to recognize that fact.


Possible Saudi involvement in the disappearance—and alleged murder—of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi presents the U.S.-Saudi relationship with its greatest crisis since 9/11. If the Saudis are proven guilty of this heinous crime, it should change everything about the United States’ long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia. Regrettably, it probably won’t.

The administration’s identification with the 33-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as a modernizer determined to open up the kingdom and tame its religious extremism has now been undermined by a crueler reality—that of a ruthless, reckless, and impulsive leader willing to repress and silence his critics at home and abroad.

Whatever happened to Khashoggi is first and foremost on the Saudis. But in kowtowing to Riyadh in a fanciful effort to make it the centerpiece of U.S. strategy in the Middle East, the Trump administration has emboldened MbS, as the crown prince is known, created a sense of invincibility, and encouraged him to believe there are no consequences for his reckless actions. And it is likely, unless confronted with incontrovertible evidence of Saudi responsibility for Khashoggi’s death or serious pressure from Congress, the president would be reluctant to impose them even now.

Trump’s enabling of Saudi Arabia began even before he became president. He talked openly on the campaign trail about his admiration for Saudi Arabia and how he couldn’t refuse Saudi offers to invest millions in his real-estate ventures. His predecessors may have gone to Mexico or Canada for their first foreign foray; Trump chose Saudi Arabia. In a trip carefully choreographed by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who quickly established close personal ties with the soon-to-be crown prince, Trump was feted, flattered, and filled with hopes for billions in arms sales and Saudi investment that would create jobs back home. Trump’s aversion to Obama’s Iran deal also fueled the budding romance. Trump used his anti-Iranian animus (even while he boasted he’d make a better deal with the mullahs) to energize his ties with Riyadh, and MbS was only too happy to exploit his eagerness. Reports that MbS saw Trump’s team, particularly Jared Kushner, as naïve and untutored should have come as no surprise.
Adding:
Associated Press: Trump’s business ties to kingdom run long and deep



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#156

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:40 pm




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Re: Saudi Arabia

#157

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:37 pm

New York Times OpEd - Nicholas Kristoff
A President Kowtowing to a Mad Prince

American presidents have periodically engaged in cover-ups of their own corruption or licentiousness, but President Trump is breaking new ground. He is using the United States government to cover up a foreign despot’s barbarism.

As someone who knew Jamal Khashoggi for more than 15 years, I’m outraged at the reports that a Saudi team of royal thugs beat, drugged and murdered Jamal — even cutting off his fingers, presumably because that’s what he wrote with — and then dismembered him with a bone saw. But I’m equally outraged at the pathetic White House response.

In the past, Trump repeatedly denounced President Barack Obama for having bowed to a Saudi king. But today Trump is not just bowing to a king; he’s kowtowing to a mad prince. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as M.B.S., has repeatedly manipulated Trump and Jared Kushner, for he knows how to push Americans’ buttons, and now it’s happening again: Trump is helping whitewash what appears to be the Saudi Arabian torture-murder of an international journalist.

At least four of the alleged killers have ties to M.B.S., The Times has reported, and anybody who knows Saudi Arabia knows that this brazen attack could never have happened without M.B.S.’s approval.

Maybe we shouldn’t write columns when we’re upset. But this atrocity is infuriating as well as heartbreaking: If the reports are true, it happened in part because American officials — and many others in their bipartisan gushing over M.B.S. — enabled a reckless ruler, helped him gain and consolidate power, and led him to think that he could get away with anything. Trump and Kushner cultivated M.B.S. early on as a potential ally, inviting him to dine in the White House and backing him as he rose to effectively run his country.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#158

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:39 pm

WaPo
Saudi Arabia fires 5 top officials, arrests 18 after saying Khashoggi killed in fight at Istanbul consulate

RIYADH — The Saudi government acknowledged early Saturday that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, saying he died during a fist fight.

The announcement, which came in a tweet from the Saudi foreign ministry, said that an initial investigation by the government’s general prosecutor found that Khashoggi been in discussions with people inside the consulate when a quarrel broke out, escalating to a fatal fist fight.

The Saudi government said it had fired five top officials and arrested 18 other Saudis as a result of the initial investigation. Those fired included Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri.

The announcement marks the first time that Saudi officials have acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. Ever since he disappeared on Oct. 2 while visiting the mission, Saudi officials have repeatedly said that he left the consulate alive and that they had no information about his whereabouts or fate. He had gone to the consulate to obtain a document he needed for an upcoming wedding.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#159

Post by Addie » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:52 am

WaPo
Inside the Saudis’ Washington influence machine: How the kingdom gained power through fierce lobbying and charm offensives

In March 2018, the Saudi ambassador to Washington summoned a cadre of high-priced Washington lobbyists to his embassy to grapple with a delicate, double-pronged challenge.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was preparing for his first official visit to the United States, just four months after he consolidated power by ordering the detention of members of the royal family and business elite. At the same time, Congress was facing a vote on a bipartisan resolution seeking to end U.S. support for a Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands of civilians since 2015.

During an afternoon meeting on March 12, Saudi Ambassador Khalid bin Salman sat at the head of a long table in an embassy conference room, flanked by a whiteboard detailing the prince’s itinerary. His assembled advisers included Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator; Marc S. Lampkin, a veteran Capitol Hill adviser who served on President Trump’s transition team; and Democratic strategist Alfred E. Mottur, according to people familiar with the gathering.

Eight days after their meeting, the congressional resolution aimed at extracting the United States from what the United Nations labeled “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world” would be defeated — hours after Mohammed was warmly welcomed at the White House at the start of his nationwide tour.

Those twin successes reflected the power of a sophisticated Saudi influence machine that has shaped policy and perceptions in Washington for decades, batting back critiques of the oil-rich kingdom by doling out millions to lobbyists, blue-chip law firms, prominent think tanks and large defense contractors. In 2017, Saudi payments to lobbyists and consultants in Washington more than tripled over the previous year, public filings show.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#160

Post by Addie » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:23 pm

Vanity Fair - Abigail Tracy
“They’re Trying to Run the Table”: Experts Fear the Saudis Have Steamrolled Trump

The only surprise about Donald Trump’s response to the death of Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post columnist who was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate earlier this month, was how little Trump pretended to care. For decades, a succession of U.S. presidents have disguised the brutal realpolitik of America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia under a patina of moral superiority and willful ignorance. Trump dispatched with the illusion entirely. “This took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen,” he told reporters, computing the value of Khashoggi’s life in real time. “He’s a permanent resident.” On the phone with Fox News, when asked about the possibility of canceling an arms deal with Riyadh, Trump was similarly forthright regarding the hard economic calculus. “I think that would be hurting us,” he said. “We have jobs. We have a lot of things happening in this country.”

Inside Washington, foreign-policy experts hoping for a reset swiftly downgraded their expectations. And as the Khashoggi affair has played out, disappointment has morphed to cynicism within the diplomatic community. “It’s fairly clear that this administration is hoping this will blow over in some respect or another,” Peter Juul, a senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, sighed in an interview. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had made a perfunctory concession to critics by revoking the visas for some of the Saudi officials linked to Khashoggi’s death. But it was largely an empty gesture—18 of the 21 Saudi suspects were already under arrest, and likely fated to die in a Saudi prison. (At least one of the men involved in the “hit team” had already [died in a mysterious “traffic accident” upon returning to Riyadh.) “This was a perfect moment for Trump to step out and say, ‘We Americans reject this, because we believe in what we believe,” former U.S. ambassador Nicholas Burns, said, incensed. “He missed it, because he doesn’t think about these things . . . I think we’re seeing the hollowness of his presidency. Truly. There’s no moral center to it.”

Notably, many are sympathetic to the bind the Trump administration has found itself in. “To be fair, any administration of either party—Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton—would have found this challenging,” Burns told me. “I don’t think there’s anybody out there, a senior person who’s worked in government, saying we should end our relationship with Saudi Arabia over this.” After all, Saudi Arabia is a critical U.S. ally—from both a strategic and economic standpoint. The Saudis serve as an imperfect ally of Israel, and are seen as a check on Iranian hegemony in the Middle East. “To be honest, when it comes to tangible policy, another administration may not have been all that different than Trump,” John Glaser, the director of foreign policy at the Cato Institute, told me. “A typical administration would almost certainly have been more critical of the Saudis following the Khashoggi murder, but probably gently so. With the exception of some symbolic penalties—formal condemnations, calls for investigation, possibly a temporary suspension of arms sales—the U.S.-Saudi relationship would probably not be fundamentally altered.”

It is too early to tell whether Khashoggi’s murder has brought the U.S. establishment to a tipping point. Over the past weeks, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have voiced frustration with Saudi Arabia, its war in Yemen, and the Saudi regime’s apparent disregard for America’s multi-billion-dollar patronage. But Washington is also awash in Saudi money, which funds dozens of think tanks, P.R. and consulting firms, and provides sinecures for all manner of Swamp creatures. The Trump administration, certainly, has yet to telegraph any interest in altering its relationship with Riyadh, let alone with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has a close personal connection with Jared Kushner. If there was a window for Trump to exert his leverage over Saudi Arabia—a desert economy with a singular, but depleting, natural resource—he missed the opportunity. Nor did he bother to engage with the European Union or NATO allies, as past administrations likely would have done, signaling the extent to which “America First” has also come to mean “America Alone.” Meanwhile, Juul lamented, the Saudis are “very much all in on Trump. They’re trying to see what they can get away with in however long he’s in office. They’re trying to run the table.”



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#161

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:00 pm

H/T MsDaisy

(I'm copying this over here because of the final paragraph.)
MsDaisy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:40 pm
New York police investigate deaths of Saudi sisters found bound together
Bodies of Tala and Rotana Farea, missing since August, washed up on Hudson riverbank
Police are investigating the deaths of two sisters from Saudi Arabia whose bodies, bound together with tape, washed up on New York City’s waterfront last week.

The sisters, Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, were discovered on 24 October on a bank of the Hudson River, about 225 miles from Fairfax, Virginia, where they lived and were reported missing in August.

As of Tuesday, investigators had not determined how they died. The sisters’ bodies were taped together and facing each other, but had no obvious signs of trauma, police said. They were both fully clothed.

The day before the bodies were discovered, their mother told detectives that she had received a call from an official at the Saudi Arabian embassy, ordering the family to leave the US because her daughters had applied for political asylum, New York police said on Tuesday.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... d-together

Poor girls! :crying: :crying: :crying:



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#162

Post by MsDaisy » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:23 pm

Addie wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:00 pm
H/T MsDaisy

(I'm copying this over here because of the final paragraph.)
MsDaisy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:40 pm
.

The day before the bodies were discovered, their mother told detectives that she had received a call from an official at the Saudi Arabian embassy, ordering the family to leave the US because her daughters had applied for political asylum, New York police said on Tuesday.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... d-together

Poor girls! :crying: :crying: :crying:
I've been wondering what in the world that could have been about. It's not like the most outrageous off the wall crazy thing you could imagine couldn't possibly be true in this day and age. I just hope they find whoever did this and they're brought to justice.


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Re: Saudi Arabia

#163

Post by Volkonski » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:29 pm

This might be the work of Saudi government agents.


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Re: Saudi Arabia

#164

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:39 pm

Sure looks that way.
Volkonski wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:29 pm
This might be the work of Saudi government agents.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#165

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:17 pm

Rolling Stone: Saudi Arabian Sisters Found Dead, Duct-Taped Together in New York’s Hudson River ...

The Arab News also reports that family members have rejected the theory that the sisters might have killed themselves. The girls’ father, according to the outlet, arrived in New York over the weekend. Saudi Arabia’s consulate general in New York said in a statement posted to Twitter on October 30 that it had “appointed an attorney to follow the case closely,” and that embassy officials in Washington had contacted the family and “extended its support and aid” to the sisters’ family. They also noted that the sisters were “students accompanying their brother in Washington,” referencing a third sibling who, thus far, has not been mentioned in any news reports about the case or the family’s immigration to the United States. The NYPD did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment on the Saudi consulate general’s statement.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#166

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:24 pm

Newsday
Sisters found dead in Hudson River were ordered home by Saudis, mom says

NYPD investigators are looking into a claim by the mother of two sisters found dead in the Hudson River last week that they had been ordered to return to their native Saudi Arabia because the girls had applied for asylum in the United States, a law enforcement official said Monday.

The sisters, Tala, 16, and Rotana, 22, were found dead in the river Wednesday afternoon, their bodies bound together with duct tape and no obvious signs of trauma, officials reported at the time.

Late Monday, detectives were poring over files detailing the family’s immigration status and were in contact with the Department of State, looking for any evidence that the dead sisters had applied for asylum, an NYPD spokesman said. The family first arrived in the United States in mid-2015, the spokesman added.

Both young women had initially been reported missing by their family in December 2017, at which time police in Fairfax, Virginia, determined that they were safe and living in an area homeless shelter, said the official who didn’t want to be identified.

For reasons which are still unclear, the sisters never returned to their family residence in Fairfax but went missing in August. Virginia State Police put out a missing persons poster on one of the sisters but took it down when the bodies were found, said an agency spokeswoman.

The mother’s claim that her daughters were ordered back to the Mideast added another element to a story that continues to puzzle investigators. Cops have speculated the sisters may have feared being disciplined by their family for living in a shelter, as well as what they would face if they were forced to return to Saudi Arabia.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#167

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:49 am

Report: Saudi royals turn on king's favourite son after killing
Amid outcry over writer's killing, dozens of princes and cousins want to see change in line of succession, report says.

Members of Saudi Arabia's ruling family are agitating to prevent Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) from becoming king after the international uproar over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sources close to the royal court told Reuters news agency.

Senior US officials, meanwhile, have indicated to Saudi advisers in recent weeks they would support Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz - who was deputy interior minister for nearly 40 years - as a potential successor to King Salman, according to Saudi sources with direct knowledge of the consultations.

Amid international outrage over Khashoggi's murder, dozens of princes and cousins from powerful branches of the Al Saud family want to see a change in the line of succession, but will not act while King Salman - the crown prince's 82-year-old father - is still alive, sources said.

They recognise the king is unlikely to turn against his favourite son, the report added.

Rather, they are discussing the possibility with other family members that after the king's death, Prince Ahmed, 76, uncle of the crown prince, could take the throne, according to the sources.



https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/ ... 19219.html



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#168

Post by mmmirele » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:14 am

I think the other royals are unhappy that MbS is a one man band and basically undermining the clan understanding of sharing the wealth and power. They don't mind having a sclerotic royalty as long as the perks are spread around, put this autarchy has them nervous. Just My Opinion.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#169

Post by Addie » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:38 am

Sounds about right :like:
mmmirele wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:14 am
I think the other royals are unhappy that MbS is a one man band and basically undermining the clan understanding of sharing the wealth and power. They don't mind having a sclerotic royalty as long as the perks are spread around, put this autarchy has them nervous. Just My Opinion.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#170

Post by RVInit » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:27 pm

I assumed the reason he imprisoned them all and took all their money away was precisely so they could NOT threaten his position as the next king.


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Re: Saudi Arabia

#171

Post by Turtle » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:52 pm




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Re: Saudi Arabia

#172

Post by Kendra » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:05 pm

Guess the Saudis feel that the $$$ spent on Trump and family were well worth the investment :madguy:



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#173

Post by Kendra » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:16 pm


Imagine being tortured and dismembered and then having the president of the country that is supposed to hold your killers accountable instead repeat their smears against you while he gives them a pass.

That’s what just happened.



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Re: Saudi Arabia

#174

Post by Dolly » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:08 pm

Trump signals Saudis won't face severe punishment for Khashoggi killing

President Trump said Tuesday the U.S. would maintain a "steadfast" alliance with Saudi Arabia in a defiant statement that made it clear Trump does not want the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi to disrupt the relationship between the two nations.

Trump refused to blame Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi's killing even though the CIA has reportedly concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered his assassination. The CIA on Tuesday was expected to share its final report on the killing with Trump.

"Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!" the president said, adding that "we may never know" who was responsible.

Trump indicated he believes the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia should override any concerns about Prince Mohammed's alleged involvement in the plot, a stance that will likely anger members of Congress and other U.S. allies who have pressured Trump to hold the crown prince responsible.

The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!" the president said.

The president said he understands many lawmakers would like to see a tougher stance against Riyadh "for political or other reasons" but indicated he would only accept suggested punishments "if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America."

Trump's announcement came in a 683-word statement issued by the White House press office. It contained eight exclamation points and began with the phrases "America First!" and "the world is a very dangerous place!"

He also repeated the Saudi government's claim that Khashoggi was an "enemy of the state" and "a member of the Muslim Brotherhood." But the president said his decision to stand by Saudi Arabia was "in no way based on that" and said he believed "this is an unacceptable and horrible crime." <SNIP>
https://thehill.com/homenews/administra ... -statement


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Re: Saudi Arabia

#175

Post by Turtle » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:58 pm




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