United States President Donald Trump has vowed to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of his country, Israel and other partners in the Middle East.
In a statement released by the White House in the aftermath investigations into the brutal murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Turkey, the Trump administration indicated it would stand with the rulers of the Saudi Kingdom.
Despite US intelligence sources saying that the CIA had concluded that the murder of Khashoggi on October was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Despite calls from lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat urging the President to drop his support of the Crown Prince, Trump has refused.
A lengthy statement starts with the words “America First. The world is a dangerous place.”
The lengthy and at times bizarre White House statement talks about Iran’s destabilising actions in the region, it refers to the President’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last year in which they agreed to spend and invest 450 billion dollars in the United States, creating hundreds of jobs and 110 billion of which would be spent on the purchasing of military equipment.
The statement says that by cancelling those contracts, Russia and China would be enormous beneficiaries.
The statement continues that the crime against Khashoggi was a terrible one; that they’d sanctioned the 17 Saudi’s known to have been involved but that the Crown Prince and King Salman deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the journalist.
US Secretary Mike Pompeo says: “As the President said today, the United States will continue to have a relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, they’re an important partner of ours, we will do that with the people of Saudi Arabia, its people that is the commitment that the President made today. It’s that straightforward.”
Pompeo said the deals with Saudi Arabia were vital to America’s national security interests. He was asked if the President “America First” policy meant putting US business interests ahead of Human Rights concerns.
“There has been an enormous effort with respect to fact-finding pertaining to the death, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. A lot of US resources have been devoted to determining the facts to the best of our ability to determine precisely what happened there, the US took a very strong response.”
“We have sanctioned 17 individuals in connection with that investigation. We are at the same time committed to making sure that we place America national security interests and all the actions that take place in the context of doing the right thing to make sure that America continues to thrive and grow and when we do that the world is better off for that too and the Middle East is better off as well.”
Trump’s statement says their intelligence agencies continue to assess all the information.
“It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.”
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