The New York Times reports:
This summer, Saudi Arabia promised the Trump administration $100 million for American efforts to stabilize areas in Syria liberated from the Islamic State.
That money landed in American accounts on Tuesday, the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for discussions with the kingdom’s leaders about the fate of a missing Saudi dissident.
Securing the funding is a win for President Trump, who has complained about how much the United States spends abroad and has tried to get allies to foot more of the bill. But the timing of the money’s arrival raised eyebrows even among some of the bureaucrats whose programs will benefit from the influx of cash.
The Week reports:
Middle East experts, who suspect the Saudis are also planning to compensate Turkey for agreeing to a joint investigation of Khashoggi’s disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, aren’t convinced that the timing of the payment is coincidental.
“In all probability, the Saudis want Trump to know that his cooperation in covering for the Khashoggi affair is important to the Saudi monarch,” Joshua Landis, a professor at the University of Oklahoma, said. “Much of its financial promises to the U.S. will be contingent on this cooperation.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday he told President Donald Trump to give Saudi Arabia “a few more days to complete” an investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Pompeo said that Saudi officials told him during a visit to the kingdom this week that “they will conduct a complete, thorough investigation of all of the facts surrounding Mr. Khashoggi, and that they will do so in a timely fashion.”
“The timing of this is no coincidence,” said one U.S. official. https://t.co/0CyZT7gElm
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) October 18, 2018