The Arab world threw its weight behind Saudi Arabia’s assertion of its sovereignty on Monday after what Riyadh described as “blatant interference” in its internal affairs by the US Senate.
The move followed Senate resolutions calling for withdrawal of US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.
The resolutions were based on “unsubstantiated claims and allegations,” Saudi Arabia said. “The Kingdom categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and all accusations, in any manner, that disrespect its leadership … and any attempts to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature,” it said.
The Saudi stance drew support from the Arab Parliament and the Muslim World League, along with analysts and experts.
Arab Parliament speaker Dr. Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami urged the US Senate “not to interfere in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs, not to disrespect its leadership and not to undermine its stature.” The Arab Parliament opposed any attempts to undermine the Kingdom or targeted its leadership, reputation and prestige, Al-Salami said.
Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary general of the Muslim World League, said undermining the sovereignty and leadership of Saudi Arabia was “a red line that no one … is allowed to cross.”
“This interference is only in the interest of the wicked,” he said.
Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC) in Washington, told Arab News it was “unfortunate that members of the US Senate have buckled under the relentless information warfare that has been waged against Saudi Arabia.
“Any vote against the Saudi leadership is a vote against Saudi youth. It is a time of change, dynamism and limitless possibilities in Saudi Arabia, and the crown prince exemplifies that.”
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar in Riyadh, told Arab News the US and Saudi Arabia were allies and only Iran would gain from a rift between them. “We are a frontline state in the war against terrorism and the Iranian-aligned militias who are our common enemies,” he said.
“Many Americans are unaware of what is happening in the region and how President Obama’s opening up to Iran emboldened Tehran to run amok. By creating this rupture, the US Senate surely realizes who benefits from it. Iran, of course, our common enemy.”