ISTANBUL (AP) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Prince Mohammed said during the meeting on Tuesday: “We are strong and old allies. We face our challenges together – the past, the day of, tomorrow.”
Pompeo thanked Prince Mohammed for hosting him.
The meeting came two weeks after the disappearance of Khashoggi, who went into a self-imposed exile in the United States amid Prince Mohammed’s rise.
Meanwhile, France’s foreign minister is warning of possible “consequences” in connection to the incident. Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday called the disappearance “extremely serious” and said France is pushing, with other countries, for “the greatest clarity on what took place.”
He added that “if these alleged serious actions were committed, there should be consequences.”
The U.N. human rights office is calling for the immediate and “absolute” lifting of diplomatic immunity enjoyed by any officials or premises in the investigation
U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the “inviolability or immunity” of people or premises granted under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations “should be waived immediately.”
She said Tuesday the “onus is on the Saudi authorities” to reveal what happened, and insisted “no further obstacles” should be placed in the way of a quick, thorough, impartial and transparent investigation.
Bachelet stopped short of calling for an international investigation.
Rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said “we hope the lifting of immunity is absolute” and that “investigators need to be able to investigate everything they may wish.”
Turkish officials fear Saudi officials killed and dismembered the writer at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation “baseless,” but reports suggest they may acknowledge Khashoggi was killed there.
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