Saudi crown prince is 'gonna have to be replaced' amid 'insulting' explanation for Khashoggi's death, Rand Paul says
The Saudi government’s overnight announcement that Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi died in a fistfight at its consulate in Turkey was "insulting," and suppliedਊnother reason Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is "gonna have to be replaced," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told "Fox News Sunday."
Authorities in Saudi Arabia said 18 suspects had been in custody and intelligence officials had been fired more than the episode, weeks soon after they initially claimed Khashoggi had left their embassy unharmed. Turkish officials have stated an "assassination squad" from the Kingdom, such as an official from Prince Mohammed’s entourage, and an "autopsy expert" flew in ahead of time and laid in wait for Khashoggi at the consulate.
Khashoggi, a prominent journalist and royal court insider for decades in Saudi Arabia, had written columns for The Washington Post crucial of Prince Mohammed and the Kingdom’s direction even though living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. He had advocated for democracy in Saudi Arabia and supported Islamist politics.
"Preliminary investigations performed by the Public Prosecution showed that the suspects had traveled to Istanbul to meet with the citizen Jamal Khashoggi as there have been indications of the possibility of his returning back to the country," a statement by the Saudi government study. "Discussions took spot with the citizen Jamal Khashoggi throughout his presence in the consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul by the suspects (that) did not go as required and developed in a negative way, top to a fistfight. The brawl led to his death and their attempt to conceal and hide what happened."
The Saudi statement didn’t implicate the heir-apparent of the world’s biggest oil exporter, and cited no proof for its claims beyond anonymous sources. Paul, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated that the government’s explanation didn’t add up.
"I think it’s insulting to anybody who’s analyzing this with any sort of intelligent background to feel that, oh, a fistfight led to a dismemberment with a bone saw," Paul said, referring to unconfirmed reports that the Saudi squad at the embassy included a man toting a bone saw.
He added: "I feel we ought to put this brazen attack, this brazen murder in context with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has generally over the decades been the largest state sponsor of radical Islam and violent jihad. They sponsor thousands of madrassas that teach hatred of Christians and Jews and Hindus about the planet. So this isn’t the first instance, this is just one more in the line of lengthy situations of Saudi insults to the civilized world."
Paul said the solution was for new leadership in Saudi Arabia – a proposal echoed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who stated on Fox News final week that਌rown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman "has got to go."
"I really feel particular that the crown prince was involved and that he directed this," Paul told host Chris Wallace on Sunday. "And that’s why I think we can’t continue to have relations with him. And so I feel he’s gonna have to be replaced, frankly."
President Trump has stated he has no plans to cancel the U.S.’ billion-dollar arms deal with the Saudis, saying "we would be punishing ourselves" by killing the arrangement, which he named a "tremendous order for our organizations." Saudi Arabia could basically turn about and acquire weapons from another supplier if the U.S. pulled out, Trump said.
In a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the kingdom warned that if it "receives any action" kind the U.S., " it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom’s economy has an influential and essential role in the international economy."
Nonetheless, Paul said, even imposing attainable sanctions against Saudi Arabia and pulling out of the arms deal could be insufficient if the country’s behavior doesn’t adjust.
"I’m not even calling for sanctions truly against Saudi Arabia, in general. I don’t feel we need to quit trading with Saudi Arabia. I consider we must particularly quit aiding and abetting them in an aggressive war in Yemen … where tens of thousands of civilians are getting killed. It’s about them spreading hatred of Christians and Jews and Hindus all through the world."
He continued: "I don’t consider we need to have the Saudis the Saudis need us significantly much more than we require them. We have amazing leverage: Their air force is completely American planes. They can’t final a couple of months with no components and mechanics to support run their air force. We train their pilots they are fully dependent on us. We need to have to tell them to behave."
Separately, Paul criticzied Trump’s selection to pull out of a decades-old nuclear agreement with Russia, calling it a "big, massive mistake." Britain has voiced support for the Trump administration’s selection, saying Russia had been violating the arrangement for y ears.
The Connected Press contributed to this report.
Published at Sun, 21 Oct 2018 14:19:55 +0000