Durbin Statement On Disappearance Of Saudi Critic Jamal Khashoggi
Durbin: I cannot support President Trump’s proposed arms sales given the fact that Saudi Arabia is apparently complicit in the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin should cancel his participation in the Saudi investor conference and it’s long overdue that the Trump Administration nominate a U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding the disappearance of noted journalist and critic of the Saudi government, Jamal Khashoggi. Yesterday, Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, called Durbin directly from Riyadh about Khashoggi’s disappearance.
In my call with Ambassador bin Salman, he admitted to knowing Mr. Khashoggi and even said he counts him as a friend. However, Ambassador bin Salman gave no credible explanation for Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. He refused to comment directly on the video showing Mr. Khashoggi entering the Istanbul consulate but not exiting, would not respond to reports of intelligence showing a plan to lure Mr. Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, would not respond to a request for a third party to investigate, and gave me no timetable on the Saudi’s investigative report.
I told Ambassador bin Salman that he should expect a very negative response from both sides of the aisle in Congress if Mr. Khashoggi was in fact kidnapped and murdered. And if that is the case, I do not believe the U.S. should continue to be party to supporting the Saudis in the bloodshed in Yemen -- a halt that is long overdue given the humanitarian disaster resulting from that conflict.
This recurring theme of the Saudi government and royal family silencing their critics, such as the case with Raif Badawi and Waleed al-Khair, along with the fact that they continue to turn a blind eye to the export of Wahabbi extremism makes it increasingly difficult to accept Saudi Arabia as trusted ally of the United States.
Since Saudi arms are being used to ravage Yemen and they are apparently complicit in the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, I cannot support President Trump’s proposed arms sale. Secretary Mnuchin should immediately cancel his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia and after a two year delay, the Trump Administration should finally nominate a U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Previous Article Next Article