A US official said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia should do more to ensure accountability over the death of dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi but stopped short of blaming the crown prince after a UN probe linked him to the killing.
Brian Hook, who is in charge of pushing President Donald Trump’s hawkish line on Iran, was asked about US support of Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia as he testified before Congress.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “has made it very clear that we are determined to hold every single person materially responsible accountable,” Hook said.
“The Saudi prosecutor has taken important steps toward accountability for the tragic killing of Jamal Khashoggi but more needs to be done,” Hook said.
The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, earlier Wednesday said there was “credible evidence” that tied the powerful Crown Prince Salman to the killing.
Meanwhile, British government said yesterday it would suspend issuing new Saudi licenses for the sale of arms that might be used in the Gulf kingdom’s bombing campaign in Yemen.
The US Senate was set to vote on yesterday on legislation seeking to block Trump’s plan to complete $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, lawmakers said, making clear they want a harder line against what they see as human rights abuses by the two countries, reported Reuters.
Trump declared an emergency tied to threats from Iran in order to go ahead with the military sales in defiance of congressional objections.