Amid world over protest against Saudi Arabia for its alleged involvement in Khashoggi’s death, United States has announced to cancel visas of Saudi officials.
Saudi Arabia recently admitted that the contributor for The Washington Post was killed in its Istanbul consulate.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the United States is firm in investigating all the facts, consult the Congress, and work with other nations, to hold accountable those responsible for the killing of Khashoggi. Given the information, currently, available with the United States, the administration is taking appropriate actions, he said.
Mr. Pompeo said that U.S. has 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.
Khashoggi, a former royal family insider turned critic of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman disappeared from the consulate on October 2.
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, Pompeo said.
Turkey has alleged that Khashoggi was brutally murdered by Saudis. Though Saudi claimed that he was killed in a fistfight during an interrogation that went wrong.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the Khashoggi had a “savage murder” that was meticulously planned, and demanded that all those linked to the killing face punishment.
On the outrage against Saudi Arabia in the U.S., Mr. Pompeo said these penalties will not be the last word on this matter from the United States.
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.
President Donald Trump is adamant and said that Saudi have staged the “worst ever cover up” in the death of veteran journalist, but restated there are no plans for scraping up the USD 110 billion mega arms deal with Riyadh.
“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.