Khashoggi death looms over meeting between Pompeo, Saudi prince

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in Saudi Arabia with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Monday, where he vowed those responsible for killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi must be held accountable.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (R) walks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday. Photo by Bandar Algaloud, Saudi Royal Cour
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (R) walks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday. Photo by Bandar Algaloud, Saudi Royal Cour

Pompeo posted a photo of he and the prince on Twitter Monday, saying they discussed the relationship between Washington and Riyadh and a need for a “comprehensive political solution” to Yemen’s civil war.
Saudi Arabia has come to the aid of the Yemen government during the conflict, while Iran has taken the side of the Houthi rebels.

Pompeo’s trip is part of his tour of the Middle East, which has included stops in Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. He told reporters the U.S. wants to know what the Saudis are doing about Khashoggi, who was killed at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in October.
The remains of the writer, who was often critical of the crown prince and the Saudi royal family, have not been recovered. The CIA believes the crown prince likely ordered the hit.

The U.S. Senate last month voted to rebuke bin Salman over Khashoggi’s death.

“Every single person who has responsibility for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi needs to be held accountable,” Pompeo told reporters after Monday’s meeting.
“I think the Trump administration has made it clear that our expectation in all those involved in the murder of Khashoggi will be held accountable, so we spent time talking about human rights issues.”

The Saudi’s have also come under scrutiny for women’s rights abuses, highlighted over the last week by teenager Rahaf Mohammed Al-qunun’s escape from her Saudi family in Kuwait.

The woman was given U.N. refugee status and accepted in Canada. She said her family would kill her if she returned after renouncing Islam.

ByClyde Hughes