Saudi Arabia has banned all US citizens from entering the country, a move that was condemned by the US State Department.
The move comes as the US and Saudi Arabia have battled an escalating political crisis that has seen several Saudi princes arrested over their alleged role in a deadly crackdown on Shia Muslims in the kingdom.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Saturday that the ban was an attempt to “protect Saudi Arabia’s national security” and said that “the United States cannot afford to act in this way”.
“We will not accept any kind of interference in our internal affairs,” he said.
“Our foreign policy must be based on respect for our sovereignty, our independence, and our independence and national security.”
We reject any interference in other countries’ internal affairs.””
This ban is not aimed at the US but is aimed at protecting Saudi Arabia, its sovereignty and security,” Jubeir added.”
The US should reconsider its decision to close its consulate in Riyadh, which has been closed for more than a decade, and to close the US Embassy in the Kingdom, which it closed in 2012.
“The US and its allies have been concerned about Saudi Arabias alleged role as the world’s top exporter of oil and the key backer of the militant Islamic State group (ISIS) group, which is seeking to establish an Islamic state in the region.
Saudi Arabia’s top cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, has urged the kingdom to change its policies in the face of an increase in violence and attacks by ISIS and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.”
There has been an escalation in violence in Yemen, a war against Yemenis, and the US should not be the instigator of that violence,” Sheikh Abdulwahab al-Mufti said in a video message on Saturday.
Saudi authorities have denied the allegations of Saudi involvement in the conflict in Yemen and said the government was carrying out “peaceful protests” against the Houthis.
However, several Saudi government officials have been arrested for alleged involvement in fighting with the Houths.