How has Trump af­fected the re­la­tion­ship?

The Week (US) - - News 11 -

The pres­i­dent has long-stand­ing busi­ness ties with the Saudis; by his own ac­count, he’s sold them mil­lions of dol­lars’ worth of real es­tate. “Am I sup­posed to dis­like them?” he asked while cam­paign­ing for pres­i­dent. “I like them very much.” Since tak­ing of­fice, he has made the Saudi al­liance a pri­or­ity; his first for­eign trip was to Riyadh. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kush­ner quickly grew close to one of the king’s sons, Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, and the ad­min­is­tra­tion strongly sup­ported Mo­hammed’s el­e­va­tion to crown prince last year, view­ing him as a re­former in­tent on mod­ern­iz­ing his coun­try. Congress, though, is not so en­am­ored. The killing of Ja­mal Khashoggi in the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul last month prompted the Se­nate to in­voke the Global Mag­nit­sky Hu­man Rights Ac­count­abil­ity Act, which re­quires the pres­i­dent to iden­tify within four months which in­di­vid­ual Saudis should be sanc­tioned. “In mo­ments like this, you have to em­brace your val­ues,” said Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham (R-S.C.). “No more trans­ac­tional in­ter­ac­tions.”

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