Khashoggi Case: Washington Needs “A Few Weeks” Before Taking Sanctions

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington needed “a few more weeks” to put in place sanctions against the individuals involved in the journalist’s murder.

One month after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed in the Saudi consulate  in Istanbul, there is still no trace of the “severe punishment” promised by Donald Trump in Riyadh if the kingdom’s involvement in the journalist’s death was confirmed. However, Saudi Arabia did recognize that Jamal Khashoggi had died in his consulate, even admitting on 25 October that the suspects of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi had committed a “premeditated” act.

Khashoggi case: Washington needs "a few weeks" before taking sanctions© Leah Millis Source: Reuters
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (image for illustration).


But Washington is taking its time in this case and does not intend to punish his ally in a hasty way. “It will probably take us a few more weeks before we have enough evidence to actually implement these sanctions, but I think we can do it,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in remarks reported by the Reuters . The United States, which had quickly ruled out questioning  historic trade agreementsbetween the two countries, is considering “imposing sanctions on those involved in the murder,” according to Mike Pompeo.

In other words, if Washington falls behind the Riyadh version, according to which a senior intelligence official has been overzealous, relations between the two allies will not be affected. The contrast is striking with the reaction of the United States in the Skripal case. After three weeks and without an ounce of proof of Moscow’s involvement in the poisoning of the former double agent and his daughter, Washington had carried out the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats ever. And while Moscow has always denied any involvement, Washington has not hesitated to impose new sanctions on Russia in August.

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