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US Senate to consider resolution condemning Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi murder

Several US lawmakers believe Crown Prince Mohammed was behind Khashoggi's murder [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 December, 2018

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Republican Senator Bob Corker has said he is confident that a resolution condemning Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will pass through Senate.

The US Senate will this week be asked to vote on a resolution condemning Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Republican Senator Bob Corker said on Tuesday.

Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he expects the measure to pass the Senate, noting that its co-sponsors include Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

If the resolution passes the House of Representatives, it will go to President Donald Trump to sign or veto. 

"Hopefully, we'll have a very, very strong vote on a resolution condemning the crown prince," Corker said. 

The murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on 2 October caused international outrage against Saudi Arabia, including among many US lawmakers who have strongly criticised Riyadh over the affair.

The Saudi government, who initially claimed no knowledge of Khashoggi's fate, eventually conceded that the writer was killed at the embassy in what it has described as a "rogue operation".

US and Turkish intelligence services, however, have reportedly concluded that the assassination order likely came directly from Prince Mohammed.

The incident has driven a wedge between key Republican lawmakers and the president, who has insisted that Washington must temper its response to the murder due to US reliance on Saudi oil.

"It's the most brilliant briefing I've ever received in my time in Congress," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said earlier this month of a briefing by the US intelligence community on the killing of Khashoggi.

"You had two analysts that walk us through the crown prince's focus on Mr. Khashoggi for about two years. This operation was very sophisticated."

"The person in charge of executing the operation is MbS' right-hand man. There is no doubt by any senator who received this briefing that MbS was complicit in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi," he added, referring to the 33-year-old crown prince.

Graham, along with other Republican and Democrat Senators last week introduced a resolution condemning Khashoggi's murder. Corker said the new resolution would be similar, adding that he "has a high level of confidence" that the Saudi crown prince was complicit in the journalist's murder. 

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