U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has announced that he met Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister during an international conference in Bahrain, and urged the kingdom to launch a transparent investigation into Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
Mattis told reporters travelling with him to Prague that the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, assured him that Saudi Arabia will launch a “transparent, full, and complete” investigation into Khashoggi’s murder with “no reservations at all,” per a report by Reuters.
The discussion was held privately at a dinner on Saturday when the two diplomats met during the Manama Dialogue international security conference in Bahrain. The Pentagon chief did not provide further details about the discussion, but said that he pressed al-Jubeir to probe into the matter as the “[U.S.] needs to know what happened,” per Reuters. He further added that the discussion was very “collaborative.”
At the conference, Mattis said that the killing of the journalist has undermined Middle Eastern stability and that Washington would take additional measures against those responsible, per an earlier report by the Inquisitr.
“With our collective interests in peace and unwavering respect for human rights in mind, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic facility must concern us all greatly. Failure of any one nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most.”
The Saudi minister, on the other hand, said during the security summit that the Kingdom’s relations with the United States were “ironclad” amid the ongoing “media hysteria” over Khashoggi’s killing, further adding that the Trump administration’s foreign policy is “rational and realistic” and can be supported by all Gulf Arab states, per the Inquisitr.
Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, 59, regularly criticized the kingdom’s leader Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi moved to the United States in 2017 to live in a self-imposed exile. He disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancee.
An investigation by the Turkish authorities later found that Khashoggi was killed by a Saudi hit squad inside the consulate and his body was dismembered. Saudi Arabia, who initially claimed that it had no knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, later issued a statement saying that the journalist died in a “fist fight” with the hit squad, per a separate report by the Inquisitr.
However, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor later said that Khashoggi’s murder was premeditated. The Kingdom is investigating 18 Saudis on the charge of “intentional homicide with premeditation and torture,” per CNN.
The president of Turkey demanded that the 18 suspects should be extradited to Turkey so that a transparent investigation could be carried out.