16:22 GMT +319 January 2019
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    People hold signs during a protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Washington.

    Pompeo: New Penalties Against Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi Murder Still Possible

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is standing by its promise to penalize Saudi Arabia further in response to the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the US Secretary of State Pompeo said in an interview on Friday.

    When asked by a Fox News reporter whether the imposition of more penalties against Saudi Arabia is still the case, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "Absolutely."

    In November, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis involved in the Khashoggi murder.

    READ MORE: Paris Asks Riyadh to Give 'Transparent and Credible' Answer on Khashoggi Murder

    Pompeo noted that the United States continues to investigate the Khashoggi’s murder to ensure that those responsible for his death will be held responsible.

    However, the US secretary further emphasized that the US relationship with Saudi Arabia remains critically important in the fight against terrorism in the region.

    His remarks come after on 2 October 2018, Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul upon entering to obtain marriage-related documents.

    After two weeks of denials, the Saudi authorities admitted that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate and his body dismembered on consulate grounds.

    Riyadh claims that the killing had nothing to do with the Saudi royal family and the kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, describing the murder as a rogue operation.

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    Tags:
    sanctions, US Treasury Department, Jamal Khashoggi, Mike Pompeo, Saudi Arabia
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