The U.S. Senate has failed to override President Donald Trump's veto of legislation meant to stop the sale of specific arms to Saudi Arabia.
Although five of the Senate's 53 Republicans voted in favor of the legislation late Monday, the 45-40 vote fell short of the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto.
Fifteen Republicans abstained.
The U.S. Congress has long sought to punish the Saudi government for its human rights violations, and pressure rose after the murder last fall of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives in the kingdom’s Istanbul Consulate.
Saudi Arabia initially denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts after he went missing on Oct. 2, 2018, but later tried to blame his death on a team of rogue operatives carrying out a botched rendition operation.
Khashoggi, according to reports by the UN and other independent organizations, was murdered and dismembered, very likely on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
Congress previously passed legislation mandating that Trump identify and sanction those responsible for the journalist's killing, but he never complied.
Trump has dismissed or ignored evidence of Saudi complicity in the murder, arguing that supposed economic benefits of U.S. deals with Saudi Arabia outweigh the issue.
By Vakkas Dogantekin