"This curtailment of travel is required so that the Pompeo family may attend a family funeral", the spokesman said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince have assured him that "every single person" responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will be held accountable.
This set of priorities was raised in private meetings between Pompeo, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Pompeo was in Riyadh as part of an extensive week-long trip to the Middle East, which included stops in Amman, Baghdad, Cairo, Manama, Abu Dhabi and Doha.
Pompeo is also expected to meet with the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler known in the West as MbS, to discuss the investigation into Khashoggi's death.
In protest over the president's handling of the matter, the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan resolution that put the blame for the killing of Khashoggi squarely on the Saudi crown prince.
"We will continue to have a conversation with the crown prince and the Saudis about ensuring that the accountability is full and complete with respect to the unacceptable murder of Jamal Khashoggi", Pompeo told reporters in Qatar on Sunday before heading to Riyadh. Trump's decision to leave Syria, which he initially said would be rapid but later slowed down, shocked USA allies and angered the Syrian Kurds.
They also agreed that a comprehensive political solution is the only way to end the conflict. "I think the president's comments this morning are consistent with that".
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Hathloul's sister, Loujain, is among more than a dozen activists arrested last May - just before the historic lifting of Saudi Arabia's decades-long ban on women drivers.
Speaking from Lebanon, where he met with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, Mr Hale said: "Secretary Pompeo asked me to come to Lebanon to discuss America's regional strategy".
Pompeo's visit to Riyadh comes as US President Donald Trump faces Congressional pressure to end logistical support to Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military coalition in Yemen on the side of the government.
Saudi Arabia has charged 11 people in the death, including several officials close to the crown prince but US lawmakers have been critical of its response, demanding that America withdraw its support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen in response.
The ongoing dispute between Qatar and four of America's other close Arab partners will also feature in Pompeo's talks as it continues to be a major hindrance in a US-led effort to unite the Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan in a military alliance to counter Iran. "They talked about the process that is occurring inside their country, both the investigative process and the judicial process that is taking place", Pompeo said.
Pompeo also hailed Qatari support for Washington's anti-terrorism efforts.
Saudi authorities deny the torture charges, and Prince Mohammed has said they have recordings showing the activists were working with foreign intelligence agencies.
The outcry over the murder has tarnished the reputation of Prince Mohammed, strained ties with Western allies and focused attention on Saudi Arabia's domestic crackdown on dissent and the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led and US -backed coalition is supporting the internationally recognized government.