TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • FLORIDA | TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis Announces Transition Team Chairs. (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)
    FLORIDA | TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis Announces Transition Team Chairs. (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)

US defense chief: killing of writer is threat to stability

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “undermines regional stability” and the U.S. State Department plans to take further action in response to the killing, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday at an international conference in the Middle East.

Mattis never mentioned Saudi Arabia directly in connection with the Oct. 2 slaying of Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. But he noted that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revoked visas of Saudis implicated in the killing of the Washington Post writer, and he said additional measures will be taken.

Turkish officials have said that a Saudi team of 15 men tortured, killed and dismembered the writer and in a premeditated act. The kingdom initially said it knew nothing about what happened to Khashoggi, but on Thursday said evidence shows that the killing was premeditated.

Mattis made no move to directly blame Saudi and did not refer to the calls from members of Congress to cut arms sales to Saudi Arabia or impose sanctions on the kingdom. But his broader mention of the matter toward the end of his speech underscores the serious national security ramifications the incident poses for relations with a key U.S. ally.

“With our collective interests in peace and unwavering respect for human rights in mind, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic facility must concern us all greatly,” Mattis told international officials and experts at the Manama Dialogue. “Failure of any one nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most.”

He added that he will continue to consult with President Donald Trump and Pompeo as they consider the broader implications of the matter.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir, who spoke after Mattis at the conference, said hysterical media are rushing to judgment in the Khashoggi case.

“Unfortunately there has been this hysteria in the media about Saudi Arabia’s guilt before the investigation is completed,” he said, in response to questions about the killing. “What we say to people is wait until everything is done” then decide if the investigation was serious or not.

He said that the kingdom will hold those responsible accountable and put mechanisms in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again. “We will overcome” the consequences of the Khashoggi killing, he added.

Still, Mattis’ speech also reflected the difficult dilemma this has caused. In one section deeply critical of Iran, he referred to the ongoing attacks on Saudi by Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen.

“I reiterate U.S. support for our partners’ right to defend themselves against Iranian-supplied Houthi attacks on their sovereign territory, and at the same time call for an urgent end to the fighting,” Mattis said.

Others in the U.S., however, have condemned the Saudis for what has been called indiscriminate bombings that have slaughtered civilians. Mattis and others, meanwhile, have said the U.S. is providing key support to the Saudi-led coalition, and that the assistance is helping the kingdom improve its targeting.

The U.S. he said, wants to continue to build the capacity of the Yemeni security forces who are batting the Houthis in a brutal civil war.

Mattis also later talked about America’s shared interests with its Arab and Israeli partners, adding that “our respect for the Saudi people is undiminished.”

But, he cautioned that respect “must come with transparency and trust.”

Saudi Arabia’s slow shift to reveal more details about the killing also reflects the kingdom’s acknowledgement that the killing could have a serious diplomatic, and possibly economic impact.

Khashoggi lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. for the past year and wrote editorial columns for The Washington Post that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s heir apparent. He lived in self-imposed exile in the United States for nearly a year before his death, had written critically of Prince Mohammed’s crackdown on dissent.

More broadly, Mattis’ speech Saturday, focused on regional cooperation and the U.S. commitment to the Middle East.

He repeated his frequent criticism of Iran’s “outlaw regime,” which has fueled insurgencies in Yemen and Iraq, backed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal government and fostered proxy terrorists across the region.

And he made clear that the U.S. commitment to the region outpaces any presence by Russia, which he said lacks essential moral principles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

POLITICS & POWER NEWS

National Politics

Rep. Soto: House Democrats Introduce Legislation to Protect Native American Voting Rights

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Darren Soto joined Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) to introduce the Native American Voting…

The Latest: Judge orders White House to return Acosta pass

WASHINGTON (AP) - CNN has asked U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed to…

U.S. Congressman Darren Soto Statement on Court’s Decision Jeopardizing Hispanic Voters

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Darren Soto, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair of the Civil and Voting…

Anti-Gillum Monkey Robocalls Return, Lump in Jews

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The racial tenor hit fever pitch Wednesday in the highly…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

[OPINION] Orange County Republicans Must Adapt, or They'll Lose Every Time!

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - In the 2018 midterm elections almost none of the Orange…

Gillum for Governor Campaign on Counting Every Vote

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, Gillum for Governor communications director Johanna Cervone made the following statement on…

Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis Announces Transition Team Chairs

TALLAHASSEE, FL- Today, Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis announced four Florida leaders to spearhead transition for the new…

Supervisor Daisy Morales Re-Elected with 256,116 Supermajority of Orange County Votes

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - On election night, Orange County voters delivered a landslide victory…

SPORTS NEWS

  • Buccaneers Fall Short Against Redskins 16-3. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Hoops for Troops: Orlando Magic and Players Aaron Gordon and Jarell Martin Honor Members of the Military

ORLANDO (By Josh Cohen, OrlandoMagic.com) - Very few players, if any, are more locked in before games…

Orlando's Big Fourth Quarter Sparks 111-106 Victory at Home

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - After Markelle Fultz hit a buzzer-beating layup to put the…

Nearly 1,200 Athletes Competed in Special Olympics Florida's State Fall Classic

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Special Olympics Florida athletes, coaches, volunteers and fans descended on…

Buccaneers Fall Short Against Redskins 16-3

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are currently fourth in…

UCF Knights Throttle Navy Midshipmen on Homecoming Weekend

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Knights showed the Navy Midshipmen why the Knights are…

Orlando Survives Washington's Late Run

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - After the Magic's lead was cut to one, D.J. Augustin…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Trade War Escalates as China Announces Tariffs on US Imports

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S.-China trade war escalated further Tuesday, with China announcing retaliatory tax…

Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh Appeals Decision On Disney Property Valuation

Orlando, FL – Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA), Rick Singh, today announced that an appeal…

Governor Scott Orders Flags at Half-Staff in Remembrance of 9/11

TALLAHASSEE - In honor and remembrance of those who tragically lost their lives in the…

ESSENCE Debuts Lebron James’ Captivating Social Media Campaign “The Strongest” Celebrating 16 Strong Black Women

NEW YORK, NY (FNN NEWS) — Source: ESSENCE // ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and…

Amway Founder and Orlando Magic Owner Richard DeVos Dies at 92

DETROIT (AP) — Billionaire Richard DeVos, co-founder of direct-selling giant Amway, owner of the Orlando…

Nike Unveils Kaepernick Ad to Air During NFL Season Opener

Nike has unveiled its first “Just Do It” ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

AG Pam Bondi: Andrew Gillum Must Denounce Rapper T.I.’s Video

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The rapper T.I. recently unveiled an offensive music video which depicted a demeaning and disgusting…

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK (AP) — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer is yes,…

New Kids On The Block Announce The Mixtape Tour With Very Special Guests Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson And Naughty By Nature

NEW YORK  -- Today New Kids On The Block, the multiplatinum selling pop super-group, unveiled an epic lineup for…

Country Music Icon Martina McBride Entertains From The Kitchen On New Food Network Series Martina's Table

NEW YORK, Food Network -- As a music megastar, Martina McBride has entertained fans with her songs for years,…

Academy Presents Careers In Film Summit In Los Angeles, London, Atlanta and New York 

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy will present its 4th annual Careers in Film Summit on Saturday,…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Nearly 1,200 Athletes Competed in Special Olympics Florida's State Fall Classic

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Special Olympics Florida athletes, coaches, volunteers and fans descended on…

Athletes, Coaches, Volunteers Made Celebrities at Special Olympics Florida Champions' Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – The red carpet rolled out for Special Olympics Florida’s Annual Champion’s…

Onward to Greatness: Special Olympics Florida President & CEO Sherry Wheelock Envisions Greater Growth, Awareness for Athletes

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Special Olympics Florida will host its annual Champions' Gala at…

Orange County Nursing Home Faces Legal Action, State Investigations After Elected Official's 911 Call

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Nursing home negligence of residents has become a top priority…

Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin Crowned Miss America 2019

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (FNN NEWS) – Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was crowned Miss…

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…