Pompeo says Khashoggi’s murder is unacceptable, and he will work to get new answers from the Saudi Crown Prince during his visit.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, hold a joint press conference at the Sheraton Grand in the Qatari capital Doha, Qatar January 13, 2019.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, hold a joint press conference at the Sheraton Grand in the Qatari capital Doha, Qatar January 13, 2019. (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said that he would ask Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to ensure the murderers of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are held "accountable".

"We will continue to have a conversation with the crown prince and the Saudis about ensuring accountability," Pompeo said in Doha after talks with Qatari government officials.

He added that Khashoggi’s murder is unacceptable, and he will work to get new answers from the Saudis during his visit.

His comments come ahead of a planned visit to the kingdom later on Sunday as part of a Middle East tour.

Pompeo has already visited United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar as part of the tour.

Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

After evidence emerged that the killing was done by a team of Saudis sent from Riyadh and closely linked to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the international community demanded a transparent investigation.

The US, CIA and Turkish officials have blamed the crown prince for the killing, which Saudi authorities categorically deny.

Pompeo praises Qatar

Pompeo also hailed Qatari support for Washington’s anti-terrorism efforts.

Speaking during the opening session of the second US-Qatari Strategic Dialogue in Doha, Pompeo said the US and Qatar work together to settle many regional issues, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

He expressed gratitude to Qatar for hosting 13,000 US soldiers at Al Udeid Air Base, going on to reiterate keenness on enhancing bilateral cooperation especially that Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Pompeo and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani inked a number of economic, political and security agreements during the opening session.

In mid-2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an accusation vehemently denied by Qatar.

TRT World spoke to Sami Hamdi, Editor of The International Interest for an in-depth analysis on Pompeo's visit.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies