Canada sanctions 17 Saudis linked to Khashoggi killing

The Latest: Pompeo to defend role in Yemen before senators

Mohammed bin Salman began his first trip outside of Saudi Arabia since the murder of Khashoggi late last week, and his stops in the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia come amid global condemnation of the journalist's gruesome murder.

The move was a blow to United States president Donald Trump's administration, which has made clear it does not want to torpedo the long-standing USA relationship with Riyadh over the killing.

Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks the USA military should continue its involvement in Yemen but said he also is prepared to vote against priority items such as the Trump administration's nominations and a possible end-of-the-year spending package until he receives a Central Intelligence Agency briefing about Khashoggi.

But at least five of the Republican Senators who voted against the bill have received funding from lobbyists working for Saudi Arabia, a fact that illustrates how the Kingdom uses its vast wealth to influence USA foreign policy.

Mattis' statement came during his meeting with USA senators in a closed briefing at Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., introduced the resolution in February.

"If that doesn't constitute hostilities, I don't know what does", he said, becoming animated during his floor speech.

"Anything you need me for, to get out of town, I ain't doing it", Graham threatened. This was a remarkable result, given how hard the White House had lobbied against the measure.

Lawmakers in Washington voted on Wednesday to advance a resolution to end U.S. support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Congressional officials said Ms. Haspel would have also faced questions about her visit to Turkey that she would have been barred from sharing with a large group of lawmakers.

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She says the federal government is reviewing its arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and adds while this review is underway no new export permits will be granted to the Kingdom.

CIA Director Gina Haspel, who traveled to Turkey as part of the investigation, was absent from the meeting.

US President Donald Trump's trade war with China is a dominant theme at the weekend summit but one sideshow is how leaders deal with the presence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. But it's a stunning moment for increasingly tense debates over who controls matters of war and peace for the U.S. and what to do about the decades-old U.S. -Saudi relationship.

In a Wednesday opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Pompeo characterised the reaction to Khashoggi's slaying as "Capitol Hill caterwauling and media pile-on".

"I'm glad that Pompeo and Mattis are coming, that's going to be helpful", said Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Proponents argue US targeting support and refueling support (which the administration ceased recently) are hostilities.

The US provides intelligence support to the coalition and sells weapons used by the Saudis in Yemen.

The centre-right government of Mauricio Macri has said it is not concerned by the legal manoeuvres.

In the face of that, Congress is set to vote on a war powers resolution this week, which would withdraw USA support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and is considering sanctions or other penalties for the kingdom. But lawmakers have exhausted of such strategic arguments, arguing that Trump should prioritice the defence of American human rights ideals - such as condemning the killing of a journalist - over the expedient of looking the other way.

Sen. James Lankford said he was still against cutting off military support because he believed such an action would lead to more civilian casualties in Yemen rather than fewer.


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