Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Turkish, Saudi officials enter consulate in Istanbul amid joint Khashoggi probe

Chris OMeara  APDebris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael block a road on Oct. 11 2018 in Mexico Beach Fla Chris OMeara APDebris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael block a road on Oct. 11 2018 in Mexico Beach Fla
Lloyd Bates | 16 October, 2018, 21:55

The US administration increasingly regards Saudi Arabia's denial of any involvement in the journalist's disappearance as untenable, and Trump and his aides are more and more convinced that he died after entering the consulate, according to three US officials who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. If until now he has not ordered attacks against any other country it is because he is not sure of the consequences. This news comes amid mounting worldwide demands that Saudi Arabia explain the shocking disappearance, after Turkish officials accused the Saudis of assassinating Khashoggi, dismembering him and smuggling his body parts out of the consulate.

"I don't think any of our government officials should be going and pretending it's business as usual until we know what's happened here", said Rubio, R-Fla.

Investor concern is growing that Khashoggi's disappearance could add to a sense that Saudi policy has become more unpredictable under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is pushing social and economic reforms but has also presided over a rise in tensions between with several countries. Saudi Arabia has denied the same.

"Together we must prove we will not be bullied or else, mark my words, once they have finished kicking the kingdom, we will be next in line", Habtoor said.

Turkey on Friday got back some of its geopolitical leverage and goodwill by freeing an American pastor imprisoned for almost two years. "The US is the dominant energy player".

But the USA president, who has made warmer ties with Riyadh and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a cornerstone of his foreign policy, has waffled on how the U.S. might respond.

U.S. President Donald Trump speculated on Monday that "rogue killers" may have been behind the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case.

Saudi Arabia has angrily rejected any suggestion it was involved in interrogating Khashoggi, who had visited the consulate on a planned trip in relation to his forthcoming marriage.

The Khashoggi case is just the tip of iceberg in comparison to numerous brutal and vicious acts that Saudi Arabia has been doing over the years.

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While Saudi Arabia has rejected allegations that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside its consulate in Turkey, global pressure has been mounting on the Kingdom.

"If US sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world".

Before Monday Trump had focused less on possible explanations for Khashoggi's likely demise than on possible punishment if the Saudis were found culpable.

Trump quoted the King on Monday as saying that neither he nor his son, Crown Prince Mohammed, had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi.

The flurry of activity on the Saudi side came after two weeks of little action from Riyadh and followed a phone call on Sunday between King Salman and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey.

Saudi Arabia agreed last week to allow Turkish officials to search the building but insisted it would only be a superficial "visual" inspection.

"Whilst it is disappointing that some speakers and partners have pulled out, we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of speakers, moderators and guests from all over the world to Riyadh", a Future Investment Initiative representative said last week.

"Erdogan's ideal scenario is not drawn-out conflict with the Saudis, it's to help the Saudis dig out of this with a graceful exit", he said. Saudi state-owned company Aramco continued to supply a refinery in Canada despite Riyadh severing most other economic links. "He wants to make sure he has Trump's ear".

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