Speed Reads

Jamal Khashoggi

Mattis says Khashoggi killing 'undermines regional stability' in the Middle East

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul will have a deleterious effect on Middle Eastern security, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Saturday.

"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," said Mattis. "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."

Mattis was speaking at an international conference in Bahrain. He did not explicitly accuse Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of complicity and reiterated U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen while calling "for an urgent end to the fighting."

After initially denying all knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts, then claiming he died in a "fist fight" gone wrong, Saudi Arabia on Thursday said he died in "premeditated" murder.