Tags: Middle East | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism | mike pompeo | saudi arabia | jamal khashoggi | yemen

Secretary of State Pompeo Calls US-Saudi Partnership Vital

secretary of state mike pompeo with his back to the camera shakes the right hand of the saudi arabia crown prince
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Oct. 16 after the slaying of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. (Leah Millis/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 28 November 2018 01:11 PM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a U.S. partnership with Saudi Arabia is vital – despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo made his comments in a column posted Tuesday night in The Wall Street Journal.

"The Trump administration's effort to rebuild the U.S.-Saudi Arabia partnership isn't popular in the salons of Washington, where politicians of both parties have long used the kingdom's human-rights record to call for the alliance's downgrading," he noted.

He said Khashoggi murder "has heightened the Capitol Hill caterwauling and media pile-on."

And Pompeo added: "But degrading U.S.-Saudi ties would be a grave mistake for the national security of the U.S. and its allies."

He maintained Saudi Arabia is a "powerful force for stability in the Middle East."

"Is it any coincidence that the people using the Khashoggi murder as a cudgel against President Trump's Saudi Arabia policy are the same people who supported Barack Obama's rapprochement with Iran — a regime that has killed thousands world wide, including hundreds of Americans, and brutalizes its own people?"

And he claimed Saudi Arabia recognizes the threat Iran poses to the rest of the world.

But Pompeo said the Khashoggi killing is "fundamentally inconsistent with American values.

"President Trump has taken action in response," he said. "Twenty-one Saudi suspects in the murder have been deemed ineligible to enter the U.S. and had any visas revoked. On Nov. 15, the administration imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis . . ."

He warned the U.S. would consider further punitive action if additional facts come to light regarding Khashoggi's murder.

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The U.S. partnership with Saudi Arabia is vital, despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
mike pompeo, saudi arabia, jamal khashoggi, yemen
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 01:11 PM
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