US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has noted that CIA investigations regarding the death of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi still continued.
Pompeo on Wednesday reiterated his earlier assertion that there was no direct evidence linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Oct. 2 killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
He said given the importance of maintaining the ties between Washington and Riyadh, the investigation would continue until its formal conclusion.
Pompeo’s comments came despite a CIA assessment that the murder of Khashoggi was likely ordered by Mohammed bin Salman, publicly known as MBS .
CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed leaders of the House of Representatives behind closed doors about the killing.
After the briefing, House members declined to comment beyond saying they had not heard anything that had changed their minds about Khashoggi’s death.
Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, likely the next chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said he intended to start early next year on reviewing all aspects of Saudi behavior and the US-Saudi relationship.
Engel acknowledged that the Saudis were regional allies for the US. However, he reminded that when an assets became a liability, it could not be just ignored.
“I don’t think we can simply look the other way when things happen and talk about business as usual,” he said. “I think that all leaders are responsible for things that happen under them. So I think that we’ve still get to get to the bottom of it.”
Saudi Arabia had initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance, then offered contradictory explanations, including that he was killed in a rogue operation.
The Trump administration has been under pressure over its relations with the Saudi government. Trump, however, amid all the pressure, has thrown his full weight in support of MBS.
Source: Press TV