US senators say Saudi crown prince has gone ‘full gangster’

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WASHINGTON: Retired Army General John Abizaid, U.S. President Donald Trump`s nominee to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia, defended the U.S.-Saudi relationship on Wednesday as lawmakers accused the kingdom of a litany of misdeeds and criticized its crown prince as going “full gangster.”

Senators at Abizaid`s confirmation hearing, Trump`s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, condemned the kingdom`s conduct in the civil war in Yemen, heavy-handed diplomacy and rights abuses including torturing women`s rights activists and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Abizaid called for accountability for the murder of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, and support for human rights, but repeatedly stressed the importance of Washington-Riyadh ties.

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