Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Mattis condemns Khashoggi killing, calls it security concern

Mattis condemns Khashoggi killing, calls it security concern

Saudi Arabia and key ally Bahrain said on Saturday that Gulf states are playing a critical role in maintaining stability in the Middle East by combating Iran's "vision of darkness", as Riyadh faces its worst political crisis in decades.

Khashoggi's killing has tainted the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has positioned himself as a Saudi reformer, and tested ties between Washington and Riyadh as Western powers demand answers over his death. "They're detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia".

"Whether or not they acted in the name of the state, that remains to be discussed and investigated", she said.

He said that the U.S. State Department plans to take "further action in response to the killing".

"We have made it clear that we are going to have a full and transparent investigation, the results of which will be released". "And we will put in place mechanisms to ensure it doesn't happen again". We know that a mistake was committed.

But he cautioned that "investigations take time".

Mattis made no move to directly blame Saudi and did not refer to the calls from members of Congress to cut arms sales to Saudi Arabia or impose sanctions on the kingdom. He lived in self-imposed exile in the United States for almost a year before his death, had written critically of Prince Mohammed's crackdown on dissent.

Recall that on Friday, October 26, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called for the extradition of the suspects, who were said to be citizens of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has said five officials, including two who worked directly under the crown prince, have been relieved of their posts. But his broader mention of the matter toward the end of his speech underscores the serious national security ramifications the incident poses for relations with a key USA ally.

The long-planned event has been the focus of greater scrutiny this year after the killing of Khashoggi, with Jubeir questioned about how the case would affect Saudi Arabia's credibility on foreign policy and security matters.

Al-Jubeir appeared to rejected that notion.

Amid the worldwide condemnation of Khashoggi's killing, there is growing pressure in Congress to cut off USA assistance to the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen, including aerial refueling of Saudi fighter jets and intelligence.

Erdogan has said that Turkey would reveal more evidence about the killing but was not in any rush to do so, indicating that Turkish authorities will methodically increase pressure on Saudi Arabia even as the kingdom floats conflicting statements in a vain and often clumsy attempt to end the quandary.

This month, President Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia's King Salman might not last two weeks without the USA, escalating pressure on the Saudis to curb rising oil prices and to pay for military protection.

Saudi Arabia is the linchpin of a US-backed regional bloc against growing Iranian influence in the Middle East, but the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul on October 2 has prompted a global outcry and strained Riyadh's ties with the West.

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel, who was in Turkey earlier this week to review evidence, briefed Trump in Washington on Thursday.

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