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Will hold Khashoggi’s killers accountable: US to Saudi Prince

Jamal Khashoggi


Washington: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the US will hold accountable all those involved in the killing of a dissident Saudi journalist, in a telephone call that also took in the conflict in Yemen.

The killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul and the war in Yemen, which has pushed the country to the brink of famine, are two of the main sources of strain in the decades-old alliance between Washington and Riyadh.

 

Prince Mohammed is controversially linked to both: he has played a direct role in overseeing Saudi Arabia’s Yemen intervention and has also been accused of orchestrating the October 2 murder of Khashoggi, who was a US resident.

“The Secretary emphasized that the United States will hold all of those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable, and that Saudi Arabia must do the same,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The top US diplomat has previously said Khashoggi’s killing “violates the norms of international law,” and that the US was reviewing possible sanctions on individuals identified as having been involved.

But Pompeo and US President Donald Trump have also both emphasized America’s important commercial, strategic and national security relationships with the petro-state.

Upping the pressure on Saudi Arabia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey had shared recordings related to Khashoggi’s murder with Riyadh, Washington and other capitals, without giving details of their specific contents.

After repeated denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted the 59-year-old journalist had been murdered at its diplomatic mission in what it termed a “rogue” operation.