Arab allies jump to Saudi Arabia's defense as Jamal Khashoggi spat heats up
Saudi Arabia‘s state news agency has released a slew of statements from allies in the region supporting the kingdom amid global outrage over its suspected role in the disappearance and possible death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The statements published on Sunday and Monday took aim at international governments and news organizations, accusing them of undermining Saudi Arabia’s reputation without evidence and warning them against violating Saudi sovereignty.
The shows of support came before CNN and the New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia was in fact preparing to acknowledge its role in Khashoggi’s death by claiming that it was an interrogation gone wrong.
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Among the emphatic statements of support released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) was one from the speaker of the Arab Parliament: “This misguided campaign will not harm the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its Arab and Islamic status as the bastion of revelation, the Muslim Qiblah, and its pivotal role in preserving Arab national security, and maintaining international peace and security, combating extremism and terrorism and consolidating peace and stability in the region and the world.”
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The press agency also released a statement of support from the government of Yemen, which Saudi Arabia is supporting in a protracted war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Middle East’s most impoverished country.
The Yemeni statement said Saudi Arabia was being targeted due to its “honourable and honest positions” towards a range of issues, particularly its role in combating “terrorism and extremism” fostered by Iran.
“The Republic of Yemen expressed its deep appreciation for the high prestige enjoyed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which makes it the cornerstone of the security and stability of the Arab and Islamic worlds, as well as stability of the region,” read the statement, attributed to Yemen’s state news agency Saba.
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Also expressing support was Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who famously announced his resignation during a televised statement from Saudi Arabia in late 2017 before rescinding his decision.
Hariri hailed Saudi Arabia as one of the “central countries entrusted with the stability of the region,” and said anti-Saudi campaigns were being used to destabilize the region.
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Oman, Palestine and Egypt also said they stood with the Saudi government.