Pompeo pushes for restraint amid Khashoggi disappearance

Pompeo pushes for restraint amid Khashoggi disappearance

Published
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Tuesday in Riyadh to discuss the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (State.gov)

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that he has advised President Donald Trump to grant the Saudi government “a few more days” to conduct an investigation into missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We have a long … strategic relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Pompeo told reporters outside the West Wing. “We need to be mindful of that as well.”

On Oct. 2, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey to retrieve documents for his upcoming wedding while his fiancee waited in a car outside.

There is no evidence that he exited the building and Turkish officials have concluded that Khashoggi was likely killed once inside.

Pompeo was dispatched to Saudi Arabia and Turkey Monday to meet with leaders from both countries in hopes of finding answers.

The Secretary of State said he had briefed the president on his meetings, noting that both countries have agreed to full investigations.

Turkey, he noted, is expected to provide the U.S. with the results of their investigation soon.

When pressed on more specific questions over what happened to Khashoggi, Pompeo demurred.

“I’m going to allow the process to move forward,” Pompeo said.

Khashoggi’s disappearance has placed the U.S. in a complicated geopolitical position.

Trump has promised consequences, but has also ruled out levying sanctions or limiting arms sales, arguing that such moves would hurt the U.S. economy.

Saudi Arabia has promised retaliatory actions if the U.S. pursues sanctions.

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