UK Prime Minister Theresa May has told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he should take action to prevent the repeat of incidents like the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The British leader also told Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler that those responsible for Khashoggi’s killing should be punished for their crime, May’s office said on Friday in a readout of a meeting with bin Salman at the G20 summit in Argentina.
“The Prime Minister stressed the importance of ensuring that those responsible for the appalling murder of Jamal Khashoggi are held to account, and that Saudi Arabia takes action to build confidence that such a deplorable incident could not happen again,” May’s office said.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been sidelined in the G20 summit family photo in the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires.
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned that Saudi Arabia would face “serious consequences” if suspicions of Khashoggi’s murder turned out to be true.
The killing of Washington Post columnist Khashoggi on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, has strained Saudi Arabia’s ties with the West and battered bin Salman’s image abroad.
Saudi Arabia claims the prince had no prior knowledge of the killing.
In the US, President Donald Trump has dismissed a CIA assessment that bin Salman likely ordered the murder and has vowed to remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia despite repeated calls from members of Congress for a strong US response.
The Saudi crime has put unprecedented pressure on the traditionally close ties between Washington and Riyadh and helped bolster efforts to stop the Saudi-led war in Yemen.