Saudi scholar urges US to review ties with Saudi Arabia

Madawi Al-Rasheed asks US to make support for Mohammad bin Salman conditional

Saudi scholar urges US to review ties with Saudi Arabia

By Emre Aytekin

ANKARA

A Saudi scholar urged the U.S. to reconsider its support for Saudi Arabia after the murder of a Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

In an article titled “Why the U.S. Can’t Control MBS [Mohammad bin Salman]” for the Foreign Affair Magazine, Madawi Al-Rasheed, a visiting professor at the Middle East Centre of the London School of Economics, wrote: “The United States could start by making its support for MbS conditional on his recognition of people’s freedoms and the rule of law.

“This would help restrain a young power-grabbing prince who has so far displayed zero respect for the international community and has severely violated diplomatic trust, especially with Turkey,” Al-Rasheed added.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.

So far, 18 people, including security officers, have been arrested in Saudi Arabia in connection with the murder.

Last week, Turkish prosecutors announced preliminary findings that said Khashoggi was strangled to death in a premeditated killing soon after he entered the consulate.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said Khashoggi’s body was disposed of after being dismembered.

Saudi authorities have so far claimed no knowledge of the whereabouts of his remains.

“The new Saudi totalitarianism, which requires complete subservience and loyalty to the crown prince, has culminated in the scandal of Khashoggi’s murder,” Al-Rasheed wrote.

“But if Khashoggi’s murder ends in nothing but business as usual from the United States, this will not be the last horrific act we see.

“An indifferent response will send a clear message from the United States to MbS: the young crown prince can get away with murder,” Al-Rasheed added.

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