Saudi Arabia’s King Salman set to address Shura Council

Saudi Arabia‘s King Salman bin Abdulaziz is expected to make his annual address to the kingdom’s Shura Council, following a nationwide tour with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In his speech on Monday, King Salman will present Saudi Arabia’s internal and external policy and inaugurate the proceedings of the Shura Council, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The expected address comes as members of the US Congress renewed their calls to condemn the kingdom following a reported assessment by the CIA that the crown prince personally ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“It is certainly testing the position that the enemy of our enemy is our friend,” said Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, and a frequent critic of US President Donald Trump.

“The president needs to listen to what our intelligence community has to say.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, said the crown prince has been a “wrecking ball” in the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia.

“I hate to say that because I had a lot of hope for him being the reformer that Saudi Arabia needs, but that ship has sailed as far as Lindsey Graham’s concerned,” the South Carolina Republican told NBC’s “Meet the Press”.

“I have no intention of working with him ever again,” said Graham, who is in line to be the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Congressmen also gave mixed assessments of Trump’s pick for acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, who was named to the post to temporarily replace Jeff Sessions.

“I don’t know if he’s the best choice,” said Graham on Sunday when asked whether he should be appointed to permanently lead the US Justice Department.

Whitaker has been a vocal opponent of the special counsel probe into Trump, leading some to fear that his appointment would jeopardise the investigation.

Whitaker told Graham last Thursday that the investigation will proceed, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

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