Date :Friday, October 19th, 2018 | Time : 13:10 |ID: 74628 | Print

U.S. Congress propose bill to stop Saudi weapons sale after Khashoggi disappearance

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SHAFAQNA– Following reportes over Jamal Khashoggi‘s murder, whose potential killing have been linked to the Saudis, U.S congress proposed a draft bill to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Massachusetts Democratic congressman Jim McGovern, co-chair of the Human Rights Commission and the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, took the lead on the legislation, saying reports about Khashoggi “represent a brazen violation of international norms.”

The legislation states U.S. military aid and sales to Saudi Arabia would be prohibited, pending confirmation from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the status of Khashoggi case.

“If the United States stands for anything, we need to stand out loud and foursquare for human rights. Our values are our strength, and we cannot be indifferent or complicit when those values are undermined or attacked,” McGovern said in a statement last week, Daily Sabah reported.

Since 2015, the United States has played a supporting role in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign and humanitarian crisis in Yemen’s civil war.

Despite thousands of civilian deaths in Yemen, both the UN Secretariat and the Security Council have been muted in their criticism of the Saudi-led coalition’s actions in that country.

Reports of an airstrike claiming the lives of at least 20 members of a wedding party, or 40 children killed when a Saudi bomb hit their school bus, may prompt a story in a national newspaper and perhaps a handwriting statement expressing “concern” by a foreign minister.

But real political action does not follow.

The violence enacted by Saudi Arabia on the people of Yemen springs from the same source as the violence allegedly used against Khashoggi in the Turkish embassy. Both are colossal, tragic, strategic errors involving the deployment of unimaginable violence in a vain attempt to cow the imagined enemies of the Kingdom.

The bombing campaign launched by Saudi’s de facto leader, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, is responsible for the world’s worst humanitarian crisis today, with over 20 million people now reliant on aid, experts predicting the biggest famine in a century, and more than 10,000 civilians killed,  Huffington Post mentioned.

Trump says he does not want to walk away from Saudi Arabia

Hours before the proposed bill, Donald Trump says he does not want to walk away from Saudi Arabia despite ongoing concerns about Khashoggi’s disappearance.

In an interview with Fox Business Network, Trump said “I do not want to do that” when asked if the US would walk away from its Persian Gulf ally.

He added that the kingdom has “a tremendous order, $110bn”, referring to the promised US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Al Jazeera reported.

when asked about what options Trump would consider to “punish” Saudi Arabia if the murder allegations were true, the president said he was not keen to limit arms sales to the kingdom — a position he has previously voiced.

“Well, it depends on what the sanction is,” he said.

“I’ll give you an example — they are ordering military equipment. Everybody in the world wanted that order. Russia wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it. We got it, and we got all of it, every bit of it.

He added “I’ll tell you what I don’t want to do. Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that. And you know what, there are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”

Donald Trump has made it clear that whatever the outcome of the inquiry into the disappearance of the journalist from the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, the US will not forgo lucrative arms deals with Riyadh. The president says the possibility of Saudi Arabia sourcing its arms from Russia or China instead is unacceptable, Guardian noticed.

US senators press Trump on Saudi business ties

Eleven Democratic senators have sent a letter to Trump and to the Trump Organization seeking a full accounting of any financial ties between the Trump Organization and Saudi Arabia.

“It is imperative that this sanctions determination, and US policy towards Saudi Arabia generally, are not influenced by any conflicts of interest that may exist because of your or your family’s deep financial ties to Saudi Arabia,” the senators wrote to Trump.

Pompeo met with Bin Salman in Riyadh 

The US secretary of state met with King Salman, the country’s leader. But he also met with the crown prince, known as MBS, who is the de facto ruler of the country and would certainly know if Saudi Arabia played a role in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just took some smiling photos with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the person who reportedly ordered an operation that may have led to a prominent journalist’s death.

But considering the information that has emerged about MBS — like US intelligence reports that say he ordered an operation to capture the dissident and bring him back to the country — Pompeo’s decision to appear next to him in photos, smiling and looking happy, is questionable at best, VOX mentioned.

At their afternoon meeting at the Royal Palace, Pompeo and the crown prince exchanged smiles and pleasantries. Before reporters were ushered out, the prince said: “We are strong and old allies. We face our challenges together.”

“Absolutely,” Pompeo replied.

After a second session of talks with the crown prince over dinner, Pompeo declared himself satisfied the Saudi monarchy was making a serious effort to find out what happened in the Istanbul consulate.

“During each of today’s meetings, the Saudi leadership strongly denied any knowledge of what took place in their consulate in Istanbul,” the secretary of state said in a written statement. “My assessment from these meetings is that there is serious commitment to determine all the facts and ensure accountability, including accountability for Saudi Arabia’s senior leaders or senior officials”.

 

Read more from shafaqna:

Jamal Khashoggi case: New evidence suggest suspects had ties to Saudi government

Western Media companies, executives pull out of Saudis’ business conference over disappearance of journalist

Saudi Arabia is facing political and economic isolation over Khashoggi’s fate

Khashoggi issue: the new Saudi challenge

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