Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Pakistan welcomes Saudi-Turkey efforts to probe journalist’s disappearance

Women gather for a rally and march at Chicago's Grant Park to inspire voter turnout ahead of November's midterm election. Kamil Krzaczynski AFP Women gather for a rally and march at Chicago's Grant Park to inspire voter turnout ahead of November's midterm election. Kamil Krzaczynski AFP
Lloyd Bates | 16 October, 2018, 21:59

As part of a growing worldwide backlash against the Saudi government, some prominent business leaders and companies have said they will no longer attend a high-profile investment conference scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia later this month.

Other executives who have dropped out of the conference include JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Wall Street Journal reports that Dimon has backed out. Executive Chairman Bill Ford. He too had been scheduled to speak. The kingdom has called the allegations "baseless" but has offered no evidence the writer left the consulate.

Offering the rogue killer theory, Trump cited King Salman of Saudi Arabia's "firm" denial that Riyadh had anything to do with the situation - despite the fact that Turkey claims to possess evidence proving the journalist was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Trump visited the kingdom on his first overseas trip as president and has touted USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas expressed "full confidence" in Saudi Arabia and praised the kingdom's leaders for their support of Palestine.

"There's not enough money in the world for us to buy back our credibility on human rights if we do not move forward and take swift action", Rubio said. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, almost two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. This is Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Erdogan and Salman discussed "the issue of shedding light on the case of Jamal Khashoggi" and also emphasised the "importance of creating a joint working group within the framework of the investigation", said a Turkish presidential source, who asked not to be named.

Economic adviser Larry Kudlow says that when Trump "warns, people should take him at his word".

The prince, ambitious, aggressive and just 33 in a kingdom long ruled by aging monarchs, has considerable weight in Saudi government actions.

While Trump commented at the White House, Turkish crime scene investigators finally entered the Saudi consulate to comb the building where Khashoggi was last seen alive two weeks ago.

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Turkish police investigators entered the Istanbul consulate late on Monday.

The State Department has urged a thorough investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance and called on Saudi Arabia to be transparent about the results - advice broadly tracking messages from allies in Europe.

The German, French and British foreign ministers said in a joint statement Sunday that defending freedom of expression and ensuring protection for journalists are key priorities and that they are "treating this incident with the utmost seriousness".

"It felt very insensitive and it's something that we shouldn't really be getting involved with, so we thought we're going to stay away from that".

"Riyadh is the most important customer of U.S. companies, as Saudi Arabia buys 10 percent of the total weapons that these United States companies produce, and buys 85 percent from the USA army, which means what's left for the rest of the world is only five percent; in addition to the end of Riyadh's investments in the USA government, which reaches $800 billion".

Saudi Arabia says it rejects any "threats" of economic sanctions or political pressure after President Donald Trump's comments on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

"The king has ordered the public prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi matter based on the information from the joint team in Istanbul", an official quoted by Reuters news agency said.

The Saudi stock market fell as much as 7 percent in early trade on Sunday, one of the first signs of economic pain Riyadh could suffer over the affair. Democratic lawmakers criticized Trump for using the term "rogue killers".

US President Donald Trump has vowed "severe punishment" if proof of Saudi involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance is found.

Turkish officials suspect that Khashoggi, who hasn't been seen since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week, was murdered by Saudi agents.

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