Saudi Official: Congress 'Curtails' US Allies by Seeking to Penalize Saudis

RYAD KRAMDI  AFP  Getty Images

Conducting an investigation in Turkey last week, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur for extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, acknowledged in a report that "Turkey's efforts to apply prompt, effective and thorough, independent and impartial, and transparent investigations - in line with global law - have been seriously curtailed and undermined by Saudi Arabia".

President Donald Trump has resisted such legislative efforts, viewing weapons sales as an important source of U.S.jobs and standing by Saudi crown prince and Trump's ally, Mohammed bin Salman. The crown prince had nothing to do with this.

A man passes in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul.

Reporters, who had followed the Secretary to Budapest for his meetings, grilled him over Senator Tim Kaine's (D-VA) accusation that the Trump administration had turned a "blind eye" on evidence that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was involved in Khashoggi's death.

"The president has been very clear - couldn't be more clear - as we get additional information, we will continue to hold all of those responsible accountable", he said.

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It comes at a time of increasing tensions between the United States and China over an ongoing trade war. Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan have competing claims in the region.

Pompeo said that Trump's administration was "working diligently" on its investigation.

A senior administration official told the AP that the State Department regularly updates Congress on the status of the case and that the US government will continue to work to hold accountable those responsible for the death. However, the government did not issue official statement regarding the goal of the grant.

"Saudi Arabia has huge resources".

"The response from Secretary Pompeo doesn't come close to fulfilling the statutory mandate and demonstrates what the administration has wanted all along - the Khashoggi murder to be forgotten", said Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a statement on Friday. "That's what the law says".

"Congress doesn't have to wait for the president to fulfill his duty", Mr. Murphy said on CNN's "State of the Union". He said imposing sanctions now would be "putting the cart before the horse". "We can just make a determination ourselves". Speaking about the murder in an interview with CBS News on Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir acknowledged that it was carried out by Saudi officials "acting outside their scope of authority". He called the slaying a "rogue operation".

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