North America USA Gulf countries rally around Saudi Arabia, reject US report

Gulf countries rally around Saudi Arabia, reject US report

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The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain supported on Saturday the Saudi government’s rejection of a US intelligence report on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Flags of the countries attending a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting. (REUTERS)

ABU DHABI – The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain supported on Saturday the Saudi government’s rejection of a US intelligence report on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, their foreign ministries said.

The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed its confidence in the Saudi judiciary rulings, which affirm the “Kingdom’s commitment to implementing the law in a transparent and impartial manner, and holding all those involved in the case accountable.”

“The UAE fully supports Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to establish stability and security in the region,” the Emirati ministry said in its statement, stressing the country’s rejection of “any attempts to exploit Khashoggi’s case or interfere in the Kingdom’s internal affairs.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia released a statement rejecting the US report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The statement, released on Twitter, categorically rejected “negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership.”

Kuwait also supported the Saudi government’s rejection of the US intelligence report.

Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, is playing an important role regionally and internationally in its rejection of violence and extremism, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also affirmed that Kuwait refuses categorically “all ill attempts against Saudi sovereignty,” saying that the Kingdom always played a role in security and stability both in the region and worldwide.

On its part, Bahrain expressed “its rejection of anything that would undermine the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia,” Bahrain’s state news agency (BNA) reported late on Friday.

“Bahrain emphasises the importance of the fundamental role of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, and his Crown Prince, its policy of moderation regionally, in the Arab region, and internationally, its efforts to enhance regional security and stability, and promote global economic development,” BNA said.

In the partially redacted report released Friday by President Joe Biden’s administration, US intelligence said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill” Khashoggi.

Following the release of the report, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington wants to “recalibrate” but not “rupture” its relations with Riyadh, a longstanding security partner and a regional powerhouse in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia has previously described the murder as a rogue operation and has vehemently denied the crown prince was involved.

Reaching a breaking point with Riyadh over any particularly sensitive issue, such as the status of the crown prince, could endanger US-Saudi cooperation as the two countries have similar views about Iran’s aggressive behaviour, the fight against religious extremism and the need to protect progress in the Arab-Israeli normalisation process that has the backing of the crown prince.

The Arab Weekly
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