US and UK to revoke visas for Saudis implicated in Khashoggi’s killing

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British prime minister Theresa May followed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday saying that her country would revoke visas for anyone suspected of being involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

May said she would speak to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman later on Wednesday regarding the matter.

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“There does remain an urgent need to establish exactly what has happened in relation to this … I myself expect to speak to King Salman later today,” May told the British parliament.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday that the Trump administration will be revoking visas for Saudi individuals suspected of involvement in the killing of prominent writer Jamal Khashoggi.

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The government insider turned self-exiled critic disappeared on October 2 when he entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul. Officials in Riyadh later admitted he had been killed and blame an unsanctioned operation without the knowledge of the kingdom’s leaders.

Mr Pompeo’s remarks came as US President Donald Trump said he was convinced that King Salman had no advance knowledge of the incident, according to an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“The cover-up was horrible. The execution was horrible,” he told news media on Tuesday night at the White House. “But there should have never been an execution or a cover-up because it should have never happened.”

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He said he wanted to believe Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s assurances that lower-level officials were to blame, but suggested responsibility may lay higher up.

“Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He’s running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him,” Mr Trump told the newspaper.

Mr Trump described the operation as the “worst cover-up ever” and a “very bad original concept” before saying those responsible had handled the matter badly. Mr Trump said he had asked the prince multiple times about the matter.

“My first question to him was, ‘Did you know anything about it in terms of the initial planning?’” Mr Trump said, adding that the prince told him that he did not.

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The president said he asked the prince “‘Where did it start?’ And he said it started at lower levels.”

Asked if he believed the denials, Mr Trump told the newspaper: “I want to believe them. I really want to believe them”.

Separately, Mr Trump said he is waiting for “all the facts” about the case before announcing further action, reiterating that the killing of Khashoggi was a terrible thing.

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