Cardin Says US-Saudi Relationship Can Endure But Must Change: America’s Strength is in Our Values

(WASHINGTON – December 13, 2018) – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the full Senate approved Senate Joint Resolution 54, which would end unauthorized U.S. military support for the Saudi- and UAE-led intervention in Yemen. The Senate also approved a strong rebuke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, identifying him as responsible in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

“America’s strength is in our values. Continuing to support the military campaign that has brought such suffering to the people of Yemen runs counter to our national interests, our partners and the cause of regional stability. With today’s bipartisan vote, the Senate has sent a strong message in the defense of humanity.  America also cannot stand by as strongmen and dictators commit heinous crimes, assuming they can use their power and influence to hold them harmless. That may work with the president, but the Senate, speaking on behalf of the American people, made it clear today that we will not allow such crimes to go unchecked.  America’s strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, including the mutual desire to prevent the expansion of Iranian influence and terrorist groups who seek to do us harm, is not helped by our military involvement in the Yemen conflict, our military support to Saudi Arabia, or allowing the individual ultimately responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi to walk away without consequences. The U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia must change. Arms sales cannot come at the expense of human rights, mass atrocities, regional destabilization, or the calculated murder of a political opponent. In Yemen, Saudi Arabia has shown a total disregard for international law by leveling devastating attacks on civilians, including young children. The Saudi handling of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was nothing short of an appalling abuse of power and lying on an international scale.”

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