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Khashoggi Murder: Saudi Arabia must hold killers 'accountable', says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 14 January 2019, 03:17 PM
Khashoggi was critical of Prince Mohammed and the country’s intervention in Yemen
Khashoggi was critical of Prince Mohammed and the country’s intervention in Yemen

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he will ask Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to ensure the killers of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are held accountable for their crime. "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," Pompeo told a news conference in Qatar. Pompeo is due to travel to Saudi Arabia later on Sunday as part of an eight-day trip to Amman, Cairo, Manama, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Muscat, and finally Kuwait City.

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"So, we'll continue to talk about that and make sure we have all the facts so that they are held accountable, certainly by the Saudis but by the United States as well."

He will meet the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, before heading to Saudi Arabia.

The prince, the heir to the Saudi throne, has faced intense international scrutiny over the October 2 murder of journalist Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate -- which critics say has left the oil-rich Gulf nation diplomatically weakened.

Assaf, a former finance minister who was detained last year in what Riyadh said was an anti-corruption sweep, replaced Adel al-Jubeir as foreign minister in the sweeping government shake-up ordered by King Salman.

Jubeir, who sought to defend the tainted government internationally after Khashoggi's murder, was appointed minister of state for foreign affairs, which was widely seen as a demotion.

"This is far from the truth," Assaf said.   

"Adel represented Saudi Arabia and will continue to represent Saudi Arabia... around the world. We complement each other." 

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Khashoggi was critical of Prince Mohammed and the country’s intervention in Yemen. Prince Mohammed has overseen Saudi Arabia’s Yemen war effort, a highly controversial intervention to bolster President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government in the face of an insurgency by Huthi rebels.

However, US President Donald President Trump has said Washington wants to preserve the alliance with the kingdom, although the US Senate has clearly blamed Prince Mohammed for the murder. Washington is eager for regional unity to gain widespread support its fight against Iran. 

First Published: Monday, January 14, 2019 07:11 AM
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