By Sohaila Barghash
After a meeting with Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Graham started from Ankara that congress will reinforce sanctions upon those involved in the killing of Saudi writer.
The senator criticized MBS’s policies to a great extent, he said: “The leadership coming from MBS is not what I have envisioned. Imprisoning the Lebanese Prime Minister, taking all of your critics and throw[ing] them in prison, the brutal murder [of] Mr Khashoggi in Turkey, violating every norm of international behaviour.”
This comes after Trump has emphasized the strong tie between the US and Saudia Arabia, claiming their relations are crucial and yet it will not prevent the US from punishing those responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
The Trump administration has however ignored reports coming from the CIA and warnings from Congress in regard of MBS’s involvement in this brutal crime.
For instance, last November, and after performing independent investigations, the CIA concluded that MBS ordered the assassination of Khashoggi in Istanbul, a statement rejected by the Saudi government.
Mr Graham emphasized the importance of finalizing this incident before proceeding to cooperate with the Saudi government, he added: “We will make a definitive statement that MBS knew about it and is responsible for it and come up with a series of sanctions to let others know this is not what you do if you’re an ally of the United States.”
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was also a critic of MBS and his policies, was assassinated in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul back in October, however there is no information on where the body was placed after the murder.
The murder of Mr Khashoggi caused an international outcry, which forces the Saudi government to set a trial for the case, during which 21 Saudis were arrested and 5 of them are facing the death penalty, yet many have called the trial insufficient and the UN requested international involvement in the investigation process.