US pressures Saudi prince over embassy killing of dissident journalist
Saudi’s journalist killers must be held to account
RIYADH: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh on Sunday to press Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to hold the killers of journalist Jamal Khashoggi accountable.
The top US diplomat, on an extensive Middle East tour, embarked on his second politically sensitive visit to Saudi Arabia since Mr Khashoggi’s murder inside its Istanbul consulate sparked an international outcry. “We will continue to have a conversation with the crown prince and the Saudis about ensuring the accountability is full and complete with respect to the unacceptable murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” Mr Pompeo said in Qatar, before flying to the Saudi capital.
“We’ll ... make sure we have all the facts so that they are held accountable, certainly by the Saudis, but by the United States as well.”
After landing in Riyadh, Mr Pompeo pushed for Saudi Arabia to continue its investigation into the murder, in talks with Adel al-Jubeir, minister of state for foreign affairs, and the Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Khalid bin Salman. Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was murdered on October 2 in what Saudi Arabia called a “rogue” operation.
Mr Pompeo’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where he will be hosted by Prince Mohammed, is part of an eight-day trip to Amman, Cairo, Manama, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Muscat and Kuwait City. US President Donald Trump has brushed aside international outrage to stand by Prince Mohammed over the murder of Mr Khashoggi, whose corpse was dismembered at the consulate.
His support has come despite the US Central Intelligence Agency’s reported conclusion that Prince Mo- hammed very likely ordered the murder. A bipartisan resolution approved by the US Senate last month also held the crown prince responsible for the killing.
Riyadh prosecutors have announced indictments against 11 people and are seeking the death penalty against five of them. But Prince Mohammed, whose right-hand aides were allegedly involved in the murder, was exonerated.