Pompeo reaches Saudi; Khaskhoggi’s murder, Qatar blockade on agenda

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Saudi capital Riyadh on Monday and is scheduled to meet King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to talk about blockade of neighboring Qatar and murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

A day before the US diplomat met Qatari officials in Doha and called to end 19-month blockade of Qatar by UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and couple of other Arab countries.

Qatar is being accused by the group of supporting terrorist groups, but Doha has regularly denied the allegations.

Briefing to the media on Sunday Pompeo said, “We are all more powerful when we are working together and disputes are limited.”

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered last October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The incidence prompted international outrage and western intelligence agencies hinted the killing may have taken place with the authorization of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi officials have denied the allegation.

Khaskhoggi was a royal family insider and lately criticized some of Crown’s policies in his column for the Washington Post.

Pompeo is on his Middle East trip and to visit Oman next. Due to a death in his family he will be cutting short his tour canceling his Kuwait visit.

Paul Linus