PM Modi meets Saudi Prince on sidelines of G20 summit

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis speaks during a change of command ceremony at the US Southern Command headquarters on Monday

The resolution does not explicitly halt US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as folks like Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told AFP.

The vote opens the way to an open debate over the kingdom's role in the killing of dissident columnist Mr Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the war in Yemen. The bill, which would end USA military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, passed by a vote of 63-to-37 on Wednesday. After the report on the CIA's findings, the White House released a statement from the president that cast doubt on the crown prince's involvement, emphasized the importance of the USA government's weapons deals with Saudi Arabia and the nations' shared opposition to Iran. UNICEF has declared it the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Argentine legal authorities took initial action Wednesday to consider a request from Human Rights Watch to prosecute Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for alleged crimes against humanity.

Several senators said they were angry about the absence of CIA Director Gina Haspel from the pre-vote briefing.

The position of many senators changed after the president dismissed the intelligence community's assessment that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman likely ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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If that is what happens, it will speak volumes about how the balance of power is shifting between Washington and Beijing. The danger is that he ignores his intuition and is captured by the White House hardliners.

At the same time, Ottawa continued to call for "a transparent and rigorous accounting of the circumstances" surrounding Khashoggi's murder, saying that "the explanations offered to date by Saudi Arabia lack consistency and credibility". He said the CIA had already briefed the Senate intelligence committee and Senate leaders and "will continue to provide updates on this important matter to policymakers and Congress".

Freeland said Canada is reviewing its arm sales to Saudi Arabia in light of the Khashoggi case and the Saudi-backed war in Yemen. "Finally there is some questioning inside the Kingdom, 'Do we really want to hang on to him for the next 50 years'".

"Any key vote, anything that you need me for to get out of town, I ain't doing it until we hear from the CIA", Mr Graham said.

Amnesty International Canada also welcomed the sanctions - and also said that banning further shipments of armoured vehicles should be part of Canada's response. It is proving successful with nations willing to back it for political, financial or economic gain, such as Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, and Palestine or nations like the United Arab Emirates, Russia and China that share Saudi Arabia's illiberal, authoritarian values.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after the briefing it was apparent to everyone in the room that the crown prince was responsible for Khashoggi's death.

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