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Jim Mattis warns of instability over Khashoggi killing

October 28, 2018

After speaking with the Saudi foreign minister, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there'd be a full investigation by the Saudis into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Riyadh denied responsibility for weeks.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis
Image: Getty Images/STR/AFP

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on Sunday that Saudi Arabia promised to investigate fully the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Turkish Consulate in Istanbul. 

"We discussed it ... the need of transparency, full and complete investigation. Full agreement from Foreign Minister Jubeir, no reservations at all," Mattis told reporters traveling with him on a flight from Manama to Prague, where he will mark the centenary of the founding of former Czechoslovakia.

There had been no formal meeting between the two men, but Mattis spoke with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir at a dinner attended by all the ministers taking part in a security conference on the Gulf island nation of Bahrain. 

"No reservations at all. He [Jubeir] said we need to know what happened and it was very collaborative, in agreement," Mattis said. 

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-JubeirImage: Reuters/H. Mohammed

When he addressed the forum in Manama on Saturday, Mattis said that "the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic facility must concern us all greatly."

"Failure of any nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most," the US Defense Secretary stressed. 

Riyadh on Saturday dismissed Ankara's calls to extradite 18 Saudis being held over the murder.

Regional instability

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and critic of Riyadh's policies and of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered inside his country's Istanbul consulate on October 2.  

Read more:  Saudi Arabia admits Jamal Khashoggi death was intentional 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a block on weapon exports to Saudi Arabia until the killing is explained.

Read more: Saudi Arabia calls Jamal Khashoggi killing a 'grave mistake' 

kw/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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