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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pompeo: Saudi Leaders Committed to Accountability in Khashoggi Killing

By VOA News January 14, 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman acknowledge "accountability needs to take place" in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo spoke Monday after meeting with the Saudi leaders in Riyadh.

The top U.S. diplomat said both the king and crown prince "reiterated their commitment" to hold responsible those who killed Khashoggi after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October.

Initially Saudi Arabia said he safely left the site on his own, but later admitted he was killed there in what Saudi officials called a rogue operation.

Turkey said the order to kill the Washington Post journalist came from the highest levels of the Saudi government but Saudi officials maintain it was not ordered by the Saudi crown prince.

In December, the U.S. Senate rebuked Saudi Arabia, blaming the crown prince for Khashoggi's killing and calling for an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Pompeo and Mohammed bin Salman agreed Monday on the need to continue de-escalation in Yemen, including a cease-fire in the key port city of Hodeida.

The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia tweeted images showing the Pompeo and the crown prince together and said, "A comprehensive political solution is the only way to end the conflict."

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition conducting airstrikes and other military efforts in support of Yemen's government in its fight against Houthi rebels who took control of the capital and many other areas.

The United States has provided its support to the Saudi-led campaign, including aerial refueling and logistical support.

Pompeo is near the end of a trip to the Middle East in which he has been seeking to reassure allies about the pullout of U.S. troops from Syria and to seek support for U.S. efforts to get Iran to change what the Trump administration calls its malign behavior.

From Saudi Arabia Pompeo is traveling to Oman on Monday, but then cutting short the rest of his trip due to a family funeral. A spokesman said he would go to Kuwait at a later date.

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