U.S. to revoke visas of Saudi officials allegedly involved in Khashoggi killing

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. File

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. File   | Photo Credit: AP

Saudi Arabia has admitted that Khashoggi, 59, a contributor to ''The Washington Post'', was killed in its Istanbul consulate.

The United States has announced that it would revoke the visas of the Saudi officials allegedly involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, amid an international outrage over the scribe’s death.

Saudi Arabia has admitted that Khashoggi, 59, a contributor toThe Washington Post, was killed in its Istanbul consulate.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the U.S. would continue to seek all relevant facts, consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those responsible for the killing of Khashoggi.

Given the information, currently available with the U.S., the administration was taking appropriate actions, he said.

‘Individuals identified’

The U.S. had identified at least some of the individuals responsible for Khashoggi’s death. These include those in the intelligence services, the Royal Court, the Saudi Foreign Ministry, and other Saudi ministries, he said.

Khashoggi, a former royal family insider-turned-critic of the Saudi crown prince, disappeared after he entered the consulate on October 2 to collect a document for his coming marriage.

The incident has severely dented the international reputation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

''We are taking appropriate actions, which include revoking visas, entering visa lookouts, and other measures. We are also working with the Treasury Department to review the applicability of Global Magnitsky sanctions to those individuals,'' Mr. Pompeo said.

The Saudis, so far, have said that Khashoggi was killed in a fistfight during an interrogation that went wrong, while Turkey has alleged that he was brutally killed and it was pre-planned.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the “savage murder” of the journalist was meticulously planned, and demanded that all those linked to the killing face punishment.

Outrage in U.S.

On the outrage against Saudi Arabia in the U.S., Mr. Pompeo said these penalties would not be the last word on this matter from the U.S.

''We will continue to explore additional measures to hold those responsible accountable. We’re making very clear that the United States does not tolerate this kind of ruthless action to silence Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, through violence, he said.

The U.S., however, continues to maintain a strong partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

President Donald Trump has said Saudi authorities have staged the “worst-ever cover-up” in the death of Khashoggi, but reiterated he does not want to scrap the USD 110 billion mega arms deal with Riyadh over the issue.

“Neither the President nor I am happy with this situation. Our shared strategic interests with Saudi Arabia remain. We continue to view as achievable the twin imperatives of protecting America and holding accountable those responsible for the killing of Mr. Khashoggi,'' Mr. Pompeo said.

The US was working with its allies around the world on this issue and wanted to make sure that everyone understood that the U.S. did not believe that the killing of Khashoggi was anything other than a horrific act. “We hope that we can work together, both with Congress and our allies, to hold those responsible accountable,'' he said.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:32:31 AM |

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