Tags: Middle East | Mattis | Saudis | Khashoggi

Mattis: 'No Way Not To' Deal With Saudis to Stop War in Yemen

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James Mattis (Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 November 2018 03:19 PM

Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday said the United States has a twin principle of accountability and the pursuit of human rights while also continuing to work with Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen.

In remarks to reporters at the Pentagon, Mattis said America should never apologize for supporting human rights, but also shouldn’t have to apologize for working with the Saudis for “the good of innocent people,” the Washington Examiner reported.

“Presidents don’t often get the freedom to work with unblemished partners in all things,” Mattis said, referring to the brutal slaying of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The CIA reportedly believes Khashoggi’s death was ordered directly by the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

“There's two primary thrust lines,” Mattis said. “One is accountability for anyone involved in the murder, and yes, I am calling it murder. On the other hand, if we're going to stop a war in Yemen, we're going to have to deal with Saudi Arabia. There's no way not to.”

Mattis credited the Saudi government with making humanitarian gestures, including allowing some wounded Houthi rebels to be moved to hospitals, and putting up $500 million, along with the United Arab Emirates, to feed Yemeni’s starving population, the Examiner reported.

Those actions, Mattis said,  helped paved the way for peace talks to be held in Sweden in early December.

“The Saudis were actually key to open the door to this,” Mattis said. “So we're not going to either apologize for our human rights stand, nor will we apologize for working with Saudi Arabia where it's necessary for the good of innocent people who are in trouble.”

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Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday said the United States has a twin principle of accountability and the pursuit of human rights while also continuing to work with Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen.
Mattis, Saudis, Khashoggi
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2018-19-21
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 03:19 PM
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