In a public statement published by the Saudi Press Agency on Sunday, the kingdom praised the Trump administration for its reluctance to implicate crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“The Kingdom appreciates the prudent position taken by the United States Government and its institutions regarding the recent developments.”
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The statement also went on to criticize the recent motion passed by the U.S. Senate, which put the blame for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on bin Salman.
“The Kingdom categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and all accusations, in any manner, that disrespect its leadership, represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque and the Crown Prince, and any attempts to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature,” the statement also read.
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U.S. senators last Thursday passed the measure that blamed the prince for Khashoggi’s killing and called on Riyadh to “ensure appropriate accountability.” Senators also passed a separate measure calling for the end of U.S. aid to the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
The Saudi’s statement also added that the U.S. Senate vote “contained blatant interferences” in the kingdom’s internal affairs.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been reluctant to condemn the Saudi government or the crown prince for Khashoggi’s death, despite the fact that a CIA investigation determined that the prince must have at least known about the plan.
Instead, Trump has remained steadfast in his support of Saudi arms deals worth billions and has thanked the kingdom for its low oil prices.
Saudi Arabia has consistently denied Prince Mohammed’s role in the Oct. 2 murder of the former Washington Post columnist.
While the kingdom’s account of Khashoggi’s death has changed several times, a Saudi-led investigation determined that the prince’s aides had decided to bring Khashoggi back to the kingdom by force, but that the agents on the ground exceeded their authority and killed him.
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Just last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that a voice can be heard on the tape of Khashoggi’s murder saying, “I know how to cut well.”
According to Turkey’s account of the events, a 15-person hit squad killed Khashoggi on Oct. 2 in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate. His remains have not been found.
— With files from the Associated Press