US Secretary of State Pompeo defends Saudi crown prince

Posted December 02, 2018

The content of the gruesome tape - a key piece of evidence in the murder allegedly ordered by USA ally Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - was distributed by Turkey after Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Theresa May has vowed to be "robust" as she meets Saudi Arabia's leader to press him over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The crown prince enjoyed a buoyant welcome at the G20 on Friday from Putin, the two exchanging a high-five and grinning broadly as if they were long-lost friends. REUTERS/Sergio MoraesHuman Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth wrote that the two "seem greatly relieved to find someone who won't mention their conduct overseas". However, US President Donald Trump has dismissed the assessment and stressed that he values US ties with the kingdom.

2018 in Buenos Aires. Ludovic Marin  AFP Getty images
2018 in Buenos Aires. Ludovic Marin AFP Getty images

The report said it was unclear in the excerpts if the comments came directly from the crown prince or were from someone describing the communications.

Earlier on Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Prince Mohammed sent 11 messages to his closest adviser, who reportedly oversaw the operatives who killed Khashoggi.

Pompeo spoke to CNN on Saturday, on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Buenos Aires beset by diplomatic embarrassment over the presence of the prince.

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Erdogan said that only one G20 leader - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - raised the journalist's killing in the full summit. "Yes, you told me, thank you very much", replied Mohammad bin Salman, who is smiling in the video.

The Gulf kingdom's public prosecutor has said Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate as a result of a "rogue operation" on the orders of an intelligence officer.

With foreign support and internal stability maintained, it appears MBS and King Salman have weathered the storm that followed Jamal Khashoggi's killing, reducing the immediate likelihood of MBS's removal.

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Mattis said the meeting included exhaustive discussions and that lawmakers expressed frustration with United States support to Saudi Arabia.

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and his wife Juliana Awada who is of Lebanese and Syrian descent, hosted world leaders for a gala dinner and a theatrical performance at Teatro Colon.

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