WASHINGTON-- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday met with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir to discuss the upcoming Yemen peace talks and the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to a statement issued by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, the two officials met in Buenos Aires on the margins of the Group of 20 summit, when they discussed a range of regional and bilateral issues including the upcoming talks related to the Yemen conflict, as well as the investigation into Khashoggi's death.

Also on Friday, the White House said that U.S. President Donald Trump had encountered Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier on the same day, when they "exchanged pleasantries at the leaders session as he did with nearly every leader in attendance."

"We had no discussion. We might, but had none," Trump said when asked by the media about the possibility of a formal meeting between him and the crown prince.

Khashoggi has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. The Saudi authorities said he died in a "brawl" in the consulate.

After releasing the results of its initial investigation, the Saudi Public Prosecution announced that 18 Saudis were arrested for their alleged connections with the killing.

The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on 17 individuals over their alleged roles in the killing of Khashoggi in mid-November, following U.S. State Department's decision in late October to revoke 21 Saudi suspects' visas.

The U.S. Congress has urged a thorough investigation into the murder of Khashoggi, and threatened to take more actions against Saudi Arabia if those responsible were not held accountable.

In response, U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to advance a resolution that could halt U.S. support for the Saudi-led military operation in Yemen.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said earlier this month that peace talks to terminate conflicts in Yemen were likely to take place in early December in Sweden.

The military conflict in Yemen began in 2014 when Houthi rebels took over the capital of Sanaa, forcing Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile. A Saudi-led coalition allied with the government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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