Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Pompeo Warns Saudi Prince His Future as King in Peril Over Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul Turkey Audio recording emerges of 'murder' of Saudi journalist
Lisa Bryan | 20 October, 2018, 01:16

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday refused to blame key USA ally Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi even as Riyadh faced new claims he was killed and tortured inside its Istanbul consulate.

Pompeo offered his assessment after talks with the Saudi leadership and said the Crown Prince denied any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Authorities recovered the audio from Khashoggi's iPhone and his iCloud account, the newspaper said.

Nauert, also the acting under-secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, accompanied Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a trip to Turkey and Saudi Arabia this week to meet with the country's leaders to discuss journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.

Trump told reporters at the White House that "we've asked for it, if it exists". "We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I'm concerned".

Khashoggi, a former regime insider who became critical of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wrote articles for titles including the Washington Post.

The Turkish daily Yeni Safak earlier reported that Turkey has audio recordings that could reveal the details of what happened to Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, noting that he had been tortured during an interrogation, with his fingers cut off.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was beheaded and dismembered within minutes after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, an audio recording leaked to a Turkish state-run newspaper indicates.

U.S. media outlets have reported that Riyadh, despite its earlier denials of involvement, will acknowledge he was killed in a botched interrogation.


Khashoggi entered the Saudi mission to obtain the required paperwork for marrying his fiancée, who claims she waited outside the consulate for 11 hours but did not see him come out.

The New York Times reported that a suspect identified by Turkey was a frequent companion of the prince's.

Asked whether he'd instructed the FBI to investigate the case, Trump responded: "I'm not going to tell you".

"Why is the Trump administration cleaning up Saudi Arabia's mess?" wondered the editorial board of The Washington Post, a daily that Khashoggi had published in.

After his meetings with the king and crown prince on Tuesday, Pompeo said Saudi Arabia has committed to conducting a full investigation. "Saudi Arabia, if you're listening, there are a lot of good people you could choose, but MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself".

US President Donald Trump, who earlier warned of "severe punishment" if the kingdom was found culpable, criticised the allegations against Saudi Arabia and compared them to the accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supremne Court confirmation hearing. The top United States diplomat stressed that time is short and that the Saudis have to deal with the people involved sharply, the source said.

Saudi Arabia publicly pledged the payment to support USA stabilization efforts in northeastern Syria in August, but questions persisted about when and if Saudi officials would come through with the money.

Graham said that it was especially upsetting because of Saudi Arabia's status as allies. Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif has condemned the "lies and baseless allegations" against the kingdom, although he praised the joint investigation with Turkey.

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