REP LIEU CALLS FOR INCREASING CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT OF SAUDI ARABIA

November 15, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON -Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) sent a letter to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce asking for oversight on Saudi Arabia’s increasingly aggressive approach towards its neighbors in the Middle East. The letter follows the arrests of numerous Saudi elites and the Lebanese Prime Minister’s sudden resignation. These incidents occurred after an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia by White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and were followed by a tweet from President Trump that seemingly endorsed the Kingdom’s actions.

In the letter, Mr. Lieu writes:

  • On November 4, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman ordered the mass arrest of dozens of Saudi elite, including 11 members of the royal family, under the guise of an anti-graft purge. The same day, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly announced his resignation during a visit to Riyadh, citing systemic Iranian interference in Lebanon. Reports quickly circulated that Mr. Hariri was pressured to resign by Saudi interlocutors.
  •  Following the events, the Trump administration’s official response came directly from President Trump, who tweeted, “I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing...”
  • All of these events share the common thread of a more aggressive regional approach by Saudi Arabia, reportedly  orchestrated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and heightened tensions between Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that could quickly spiral into more direct conflict. These dynamics have potentially serious implications for U.S. interests and demand our committee’s attention. The peculiar response by this administration, which can only be described as an unqualified endorsement of the new Saudi approach, only further underscores the need for public scrutiny and Congressional oversight.

THE FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER CAN BE FOUND HERE 

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