Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) and 13 of her colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for a fundamental change to U.S.-Saudi relations in the wake of the murder of US-resident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“The United States has enabled Saudi policies that have weakened U.S. moral leadership, led to the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents, and destabilized the Middle East,” the Representatives wrote. “It is a sad day when our allies, private businesses, lobbying firms, and think tanks show more moral leadership than the U.S. government. Jamal Khashoggi’s death must serve as a wakeup call to change our policy.”
The letter calls for a cessation of arm sales to Saudi Arabia, an end to support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and the imposition of relevant Magnitsky Act sanctions. It argues that the Trump Administration has abdicated U.S. moral leadership by excusing or ignoring Saudi actions, such as civilian casualties in Yemen, jailing of dissidents, and Khashoggi’s death. Rep. Speier and her colleagues urge the Administration to keep punitive measures in force until Saudi Arabia takes full responsibility for Khashoggi’s death, treats domestic dissidents more justly, reaches a political settlement to end the war in Yemen, and enacts a more responsible regional policy.
A copy of the letter can be found here.