US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has again informed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) that the United States will hold everyone involved in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi accountable.
Pompeo, in a phone call with the crown prince, said Saudi Arabia must do the same.
Khashoggi was strangled to death on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to Istanbul’s chief prosecutor. His body was then dismembered and disposed of in a premeditated operation, the prosecutor said in a report late last month.
Saudi Arabia initially dodged accusations related to Khashoggi’s death, but eventually admitted he was murdered and that the act was premeditated.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an opinion piece published October 2 by the Washington Post that the order to kill Khashoggi “came from the highest levels of the Saudi government.”
But Crown Prince Mohammed has denied having any prior knowledge of the murder.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo also spoke with the powerful Saudi prince about the war in Yemen, reiterating US calls for an end to the fighting and UN-sponsored peace talks.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen requested Saturday that the US stop in-flight refuelling its aircraft.
US participation in the conflict has been criticized since Khashoggi’s murder. In addition to air-to-air refuelling it has provided the Saudis with military intelligence and weapons deliveries.
Saudi Arabia’s role in the war also has come under renewed scrutiny since the killing of Khashoggi.