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19 Jan, 2019 12:08

Crown Prince MBS must be ‘dealt with’ before US-Saudi relations can move forward – Sen. Graham

Crown Prince MBS must be ‘dealt with’ before US-Saudi relations can move forward – Sen. Graham

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become an obstacle to improving US-Saudi relations and must be “dealt with,” US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has warned.

The Republican lawmaker suggested on Saturday that unspecified action should be taken against the Saudi ruler, known colloquially as MBS. The crown prince has faced international rebuke after being implicated in the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.

“The relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia cannot move forward until Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is dealt with,” Graham said in Ankara, a day after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He added that Congress will reintroduce sanctions against those involved in the killing of Khashoggi.

Also on rt.com US Senate passes resolution blaming Saudi Prince MBS for Jamal Khashoggi murder

Riyadh has repeatedly changed its story about Khashoggi’s disappearance and purported murder. Initially, the Kingdom denied any knowledge or involvement in the case, but changed its tune after facing international pressure. Eleven individuals have been charged by Saudi prosecutors in the journalist’s killing – with five suspects facing the death penalty.

The United States imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials in November for their role in the Khashoggi killing, and a month later, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution holding MBS responsible for the murder. Saudi officials, however, have doubled-down on their insistence that the crown prince knew nothing of the brutal assassination – which purportedly involved dismembering Khashoggi’s body.

Despite the diplomatic fallout that has resulted from the grisly incident, US President Donald Trump has refused to halt weapon sales to Riyadh, describing Saudi arms purchases as vital to the US economy.

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