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Saudis committed to holding Khashoggi killers accountable: Pompeo

Saudis committed to holding Khashoggi killers accountable: Pompeo

Later, Pompeo traveled to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where he pushed Saudi authorities to continue to investigate the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the US -based Washington Post columnist from Saudi Arabia.

The Washington Post columnist's slaying by a Saudi hit squad prompted worldwide outrage, especially among United States media outlets and politicians.

"So, we'll continue to talk about that and make sure we have all the facts so that they are held accountable, certainly by the Saudis but by the United States as well".

Pompeo said that while talking to Bin Salman and his father, King Salman, he made it clear that the U.S. expects "every single person" responsible to face justice.

Pompeo last visited Riyadh two weeks after Khashoggi disappeared to press the key USA ally on the whereabouts of the Washington Post contributor, who disappeared after entering the consulate to obtain marriage documents. He also met the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, before heading to Saudi Arabia.

From Qatar, Pompeo travels to Saudi Arabia on his Mideast tour. He released a statement saying, "Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" Members of Prince Mohammed's entourage have been implicated in the killing and US lawmakers have demanded America pull back its support of the Saudi-led war in Yemen. But Prince Mohammed, whose right-hand aides were allegedly involved in the murder, was exonerated by prosecutors.

The sister of Loujain al-Hathloul, one of several Saudi women's rights activists detained in the kingdom since last summer and accused of treason, pressed Pompeo to raise the issue with officials in Riyadh.

"Today, the Iranian-backed Houthis have chosen not to do that", he said.

During his visit to Qatar, Pompeo refused to comment on reports Washington had recently considered military action against Tehran.




Pompeo also called on Qatar and other Gulf countries to end the worst political rift in the region for years, which has seen Doha diplomatically and economically isolated by neighbouring former allies for the past 19 months.

In mid-2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an accusation vehemently denied by Qatar.

The administration also has stated that it opposes the hardline regime and would offer its support to opposition elements in the country.

"We are all more powerful when we are working together and disputes are limited", he said at a news conference in the Qatari capital.

"They never permit you to have as robust a response to common adversaries or common challenges as you might", he added.

Pompeo also urged the Saudis to end the kingdom's near'y two-year-old dispute with its Gulf neighbor Qatar, which has hurt USA efforts to create a united Arab military alliance to counter Iran.

He added that "President Trump and I both believe the ongoing dispute in the region has gone on too long".

Attempts at mediation have stalled, as highlighted by the recent resignation of United States envoy Anthony Zinni.

For Washington, turning the page on the crisis is essential for the successful launch of the Strategic Alliance of the Middle East (MESA), a NATO-style security pact that includes Gulf countries as well as Egypt and Jordan.