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Saudi Arabia denounces US Senate resolutions on Khashoggi, Yemen

Reuters , Monday 17 Dec 2018
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Saudi Arabia on Monday denounced U.S. Senate resolutions calling for an end to U.S. military support for the war in Yemen and blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying they were based on unsubstantiated claims.

The votes last Thursday were a rare rebuke to President Donald Trump, but largely symbolic. To become law, they would need to pass the House of Representatives, whose Republican leaders have blocked any legislation intended to rebuke the Saudis.

"The Kingdom categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and all accusations, in any manner, that disrespect its leadership ... and any attempts to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature," a foreign ministry statement said.

Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October. Saudi officials have rejected accusations that the crown prince ordered his death.

The murder has sparked global outrage and damaged the international reputation of 33-year-old Prince Mohammed, who is pushing economic and social changes in the world's top oil exporter.

At U.N.-mediated talks in Sweden last week, the warring parties agreed to a local ceasefire to try to avert more bloodshed in the port of Hodeidah, which is vital for food and aid supplies.

Opponents of the Senate resolutions want to maintain the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which they consider an essential counterweight in the Middle East to Iran.

The Saudi statement said the kingdom "hopes that it is not drawn into domestic political debates in the United States of America, to avoid any ramifications on the ties between the two countries that could have significant negative impacts on this important strategic relationship."

*The story edited by Ahram Online.

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