15:25 GMT +320 November 2018
Listen Live
    US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017.

    Trump: Khashoggi Death Unacceptable, But Saudis Needed as Counterbalance to Iran

    © REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    12241

    The remarks came after the Saudi prosecutor general announced that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed in a fight with people who met him in the Consulate General in Istanbul on October 2.

    Describing the circumstances around Jamal Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi Consulate General as “unacceptable,” US President Donald Trump told reporters that the matter should be handled with care because Riyadh was a crucial ally against Iran and billions of dollars in arms sales were at stake.

    “Saudi Arabia has been a great ally but what happened is unacceptable. I would prefer if there is going to be some form of sanction, or what we may determine to do if anything. But I would prefer that we don’t use as retribution, canceling the $110 billion-worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs,” he said.

    “They [Saudis] have been a great ally in the Middle East. We need them as a counter-balance to Iran. So it’s not the simplest solution. It’s not the simplest solution to be in,” Trump reiterated, at the same time praising the kingdom for arresting nearly two dozen Saudi nationals as part of the investigation as a “big step.”

    The US president, who had previously voiced hope that the arms deal with Riyadh wouldn’t be affected by the Khashoggi case, elaborated that he was going to call Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for a “full report” on what had happened to the journalist.

    The confirmation of Jamal Khashoggi’s death by the Saudi prosecutor general comes after weeks of reports that the journalist, who went missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, could have been abducted or murdered inside the building.

    READ MORE: Top Saudi Intel Official, Royal Adviser Fired Amid Khashoggi Probe

    Amid the ongoing probe, Saudi authorities have announced the detention of 18 Saudi nationals suspected in the assassination of The Washington Post columnist. 

    Related:

    Saudi Crown Prince Had No Knowledge of 'Specific' Khashoggi Operation – Reports
    Washington Post Columnist Jamal Khashoggi Died in Istanbul - Saudi State Media
    Erdogan, Saudi King Agree on Importance of Cooperation in Khashoggi Case
    Turkey Didn't Give Any Audio Recordings Related to Khashoggi Case to US - FM
    Protesters Finally Deliver Khashoggi Petition to US State Department
    Trump: We'll Have Answers Soon on Khashoggi, Might Consider Sanctions on Saudis
    Top Saudi Intel Official, Royal Adviser Fired Amid Khashoggi Probe
    Tags:
    arms deal, journalist, death, consulate, Consulate General, assassination, killing, murder, Jamal Khashoggi, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Donald Trump, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik