World, americas, Jamal Khashoggi

US senate should insist on reshaping Saudi ties: report

Washington should not sustain relationship with reckless tyrant who rules Saudi Arabia, says Washington Post

  | 24.12.2018
US senate should insist on reshaping Saudi ties: report

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON

The U.S. Senate set itself on a path that went further than condemning the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, driven by President Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that the responsibility lay with the Saudi crown prince, The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote Monday.

Trump has been mindful of defending the Saudis, not wanting to risk $450 billion in Saudi investments he claims are being offered, which include $110 billion in arms purchases. The actual figures are dubious, by many accounts.

"His preoccupation with deals raises the question of whether he has his own businesses in mind; since his election, the Saudis have been major patrons of Trump hotels," the Post said.

Trump, however, was given a reminder that the Saudis would rather pursue their own interests when they attempted to increase oil prices earlier this month, despite calls by Trump to not do so.

"Mr. Trump’s vintage-1980s view of the kingdom is contradicted by the 2018 fact that the United States, as the world’s largest crude oil producer, is less dependent than ever on the Middle East for energy," the newspaper wrote. "Saudi Arabia has so far failed to move the oil price and cannot seriously threaten U.S. supplies."

Senators offered a bi-partisan effort earlier this month to rebuke Trump's policy of letting Khashoggi's killing go, passing a resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, which uncovered an understanding of not only the value of America's relationship with Saudi Arabia, but also the value of Washington's relationship with other despotic leaders around the world.

Khashoggi's murder helped the U.S. pay more attention to other regimes that are "taking their repression global."

A writer from the Post, David Ignatius, argued that Saudi's de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, adopted this method of abduction and murder from Russia and China.

"The larger truth is that, with Mohammed bin Salman as its de facto ruler, the kingdom has become a strategic liability to the United States," the Post wrote.

Now, the Senate must push to show Saudi Arabia that the U.S. will not accept a relationship with just anyone, according to the newspaper.

"The Senate was right to repudiate that poisonous and self-defeating doctrine. Now it should insist that relations with Saudi Arabia be reshaped to reflect a genuinely realistic assessment: that the United States does not need and should not sustain a relationship with the reckless tyrant who rules it," the Post added, calling for the end to bin Salman's rule over the kingdom.

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