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White House: Consultations with Congress on Khashoggi Case Will Continue

White House: Consultations with Congress on Khashoggi Case Will Continue

Sunday, 10 February, 2019 - 06:15
The US Capitol is pictured in Washington, US, November 13, 2018. (Reuters)
Washington - Asharq Al-Awsat
The American administration announced that it will continue consultations with Congress over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It did not specify, however, if it intends to impose sanctions on any of the perpetrators, who killed the journalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Saudi Arabia has vowed to hold the criminals accountable. Eleven suspects are already standing trial and five have been sentenced to death.

Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said from Washington on Friday that Congress must await the results of the Saudi investigation before imposing any sanctions against any individual.

“We are doing what we need to do in terms of acknowledging the mistake, investigating, charging and holding people accountable,” he said according to Reuters.

Jubeir said he believed some congressional criticism was “driven by politics.”

Republican and Democratic lawmakers triggered a provision of the Global Magnitsky human rights act in October, giving the administration 120 days until February 8 to report on who was responsible for the death of Khashoggi and whether the US would impose sanctions on that person or persons.

Congressional aides said they had not received a report from the White House by early evening on Friday. Some said they still hoped to receive it by early next week, but the administration said President Donald Trump did not feel the need to send one.

“The President maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate,” a senior administration official said in an emailed statement. “The US Government will continue to consult with Congress and work to hold accountable those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s killing.”

Washington imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials in November for their role in Khashoggi’s killing.

A State Department spokesperson confirmed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had provided an update in the sanctions to members of Congress on Friday, but did not give details on what he said.

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