Trump Refuses to Stop Saudi Arms Sales in Wake of Khashoggi Affair

Published October 14th, 2018 - 09:22 GMT
Both leaders stressed the strength and potential of Saudi-US ties before sitting down for talks with their officials. (Mandel Ngan / AFP)
Both leaders stressed the strength and potential of Saudi-US ties before sitting down for talks with their officials. (Mandel Ngan / AFP)

President Donald Trump said the US would be punishing itself if it halted arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the suspected murder of a journalist and American resident on the kingdom's consulate in Turkey.

Trump added that even if Riyadh was found to be behind the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a writer who had become critical of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"I actually think we'd be punishing ourselves if we did that,” Trump said, according to Reuters.

"There are other things we can do that are very, very powerful, very strong and we'll do them."

Trump did not clarify what these measures would be.

The young crown prince is behind a massive $110 arms agreement with the US under Trump, which will bring jobs and money into the country as the president seeks job growth and a boost for the economy.

However, the de-facto Saudi ruler's regime has also been linked to the suspected killing of the government critic at the consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Turkey has said it has evidence that Khashoggi was tortured and killed in the diplomatic building with a team of 15 men sent over from Saudi Arabia to carry out the murder.

Donald Trump has been under growing pressure from both sides of Congress to take tough action against Saudi Arabia if Riyadh was found to be behind the murder of the journalist who was well-known and liked at Capitol Hill.

After saying earlier on Saturday there would be "consequences" for Saudi Arabia, he later softened his tone when speaking to reporters.

"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russia or they're going to buy it from China... Think of that, $110 billion. All they’re going to do is give it to other countries, and I think that would be very foolish."

Trump made similar comments earlier this week, eager not to jeopardise the historic arms' sale.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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