Saudi Arabia on Sunday claimed that a United States Senate resolution accusing Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of ordering the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is “interference” in its internal affairs. The resolution had also called for an end to Washington’s military support for the war in Yemen, in which Riyadh is involved.
The Saudi government said the Senate’s resolution was based on “unsubstantiated claims and allegations”, and would “undermine” the kingdom’s regional and international role. “While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reaffirms its commitment to continue to further develop its relations with the United States of America, the Kingdom also expresses its concern regarding the positions that were expressed by members of an esteemed legislative body of an allied and friendly government,” the official statement said.
Saudi Arabia said that it “categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and all accusations, in any manner, that disrespect its leadership”. It reminded the United States of the “deep strategic, political, economic, and security ties that were built over several decades” between the two countries.
Riyadh claimed that its “contributions” towards efforts to counter terrorism “have made a great impact in the demise of terrorist organisations such as Islamic State, Al Qaeda and others”. “The Kingdom has also steadfastly stood by the United States of America in confronting Iran’s malign activities, which it spreads through its allies and proxies to destabilise the region,” the statement said.
Saudi Arabia said it was working towards achieving a political solution to end the Yemen war, and added that it had been providing aid to the Yemeni people. Riyadh also denied any complicity in Khashoggi’s murder, which it described as a “deplorable crime that does not reflect the Kingdom’s policy nor its institutions”. However, Saudi Arabia said the trial of the accused would take place in the country only.
But United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for a “credible” investigation into Khashoggi’s murder, AFP reported. “It is absolutely essential to have a credible investigation and to have the punishment of those that were guilty,” Guterres said at a conference in Doha. The United Nations chief also said he had no information on the murder except what the media had reported.