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Congress Considers Possible Responses to the Disappearance of a Saudi Journalist – Congress Considers Possible Responses to the Disappearance of a Saudi Journalist October 18, 2018. IN10983.

“Congress is considering potential responses to the disappearance and reported death of prominent Saudi Arabian journalist and former diplomatic advisor Jamal Khashoggi. Some members of Congress have requested additional information from the executive branch, raised the prospect of targeted U.S. sanctions, or introduced legislation to limit security cooperation with Saudi Arabia until the executive branch makes a determination concerning alleged Saudi government involvement. Khashoggi, an outspoken, self-exiled critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abd al Aziz Al Saud, disappeared on October 2 in conjunction with his visit to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Khashoggi had resided in the United States since 2017, but he was not a lawful permanent resident. His whereabouts and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and presumed death have yet to be definitively established. The Saudi government denies that its personnel were involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance or reported death, despite allegations, including some sourced to unnamed Turkish officials, of evidence of such involvement. U.S. officials are reviewing the charges, and President Trump and his top aides have consulted with counterparts in Saudi Arabia and Turkey and welcomed both governments’ pledges to conduct thorough investigations. U.S.-Saudi relations are close and multifaceted, reflecting decades of economic, diplomatic, energy, and security cooperation. Differing policy preferences with regard to governance, human rights, and regional affairs have tested relations at times. The United States provides limited foreign assistance to Saudi Arabia, but security and defense cooperation is substantial and rooted in billions of dollars in congressionally reviewed sales of U.S. defense articles and services. Bilateral intelligence and counterterrorism partnerships are well developed and mutually valued. U.S.-Saudi relations have remained transactional, and current patterns of cooperation would be challenging and costly for either side to significantly modify or replace…”

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