White House takes wait-and-see position on Saudis
by Harvest Prude & Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/18/18, 01:31 pm
WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told President Donald Trump on Thursday that the United States should await the results of a Saudi investigation before responding to the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The president has hesitated to condemn Saudi Arabia outright, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Thursday he would not attend an upcoming global economic summit in the country. Many business executives and diplomats have pulled out of the meeting over concerns about Khashoggi’s disappearance from the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post on Thursday ran Khashoggi’s last column, an impassioned plea for freedom of the press in the Middle East. Written two weeks before his disappearance, Khashoggi’s column told the story of fellow writer Saleh al-Shehi, who was jailed for comments that contradicted the Saudi government. “These actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community. Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence,” wrote Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who often criticized the Saudi regime. “Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate.”
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