Sen. Chris Coons released a statement Nov. 20 after President Donald Trump indicated that he will not take any additional steps to hold Saudi Arabia’s senior leadership accountable for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“There are multiple credible press reports that the highest levels of Saudi leadership ordered the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an American resident. President Trump should demand accountability from Saudi Arabia, and, in particular, from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” said Coons.
“I understand and appreciate the U.S.’ long and important relationship with Saudi Arabia, but we can hold their leadership accountable for the killing of Khashoggi while finding other ways to restrain Iran and counter violent extremists. Our interests in the Middle East cannot be dictated solely by transactional economic or security concerns. The U.S. must remain true to democratic values including freedom of the press. Our past relationship with Saudi Arabia does not compel us to turn a blind eye to this egregious violation of human rights and international norms,” said Coons.
“In the wake of Khashoggi’s murder, 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called for an American-led investigation under the Global Magnitsky Act. Despite that, the president still seems determined to give Saudi Arabia’s senior leadership a pass. I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold Saudi Arabia accountable,” said Coons.