Saudi crown prince and Indian PM meet in Buenos Aires

The Latest: Pompeo to defend role in Yemen before senators

"There is no direct reporting connecting the crown prince to the order of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and that's all I can say in an unclassified setting", Mattis said after the meeting where he and Pompeo argued against suspending aid.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on Thursday that accusations against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of war crimes and torture may be discussed during the G20 summit, which starts on Friday.

The overwhelming bipartisan support to advance the bill came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis briefed the lawmakers without the presence of the Central Intelligence Agency director who had been asked to attend.

Pompeo urged senators to continue to support US involvement in the war in Yemen and maintain strong ties to Saudi Arabia, a longtime USA ally. United States intelligence officials believe the Saudi crown prince must have at least known of the plot to kill him. Pompeo also published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, which said, in part, that "t$3 he Trump administration's effort to rebuild the U.S. -Saudi Arabia partnership isn't popular in the salons of Washington", but that "t$3 he kingdom is a powerful force for stability in the Middle East".

Last week, France announced it had imposed sanctions, including a travel ban, on 18 Saudi citizens it says were involved in the murder of Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who had been living in exile in the United States when he was killed inside his country's consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Those named include Saud al-Qahtani, a former assistant to the Crown Prince who was sacked in October.




Several senators said they were angry about the absence of CIA Director Gina Haspel from the pre-vote briefing.

And Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is often strongly allied with Trump, voted to move forward with the resolution and said he would insist on a briefing from Haspel. "I can not recall a briefing on such a sensitive nature where we have been denied access to the intelligence agencies of the United States".

Back in March, an earlier version of the bill failed by six votes. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the powerful chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Saudi explanations given so far "lack consistency and credibility", Canada said in the statement.

"The response of Canada to the Khashoggi affair is one of those instances in which we see a consensus emerging between Canada and certain European Union countries in trying to preserve the rule-based worldwide order", she said.

Pompeo said US involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

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