Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in case of missing reporter

Turkish daily names Saudis in Khashoggi case, raising pressure on... Saudi Arabia to let Turkey search consulate over missing journalist
Jeannette Daniel | 11 October, 2018, 09:24

Analysts say that although Turkey is angry over the possible murder of Khashoggi, it also doesn't want to go into alone against Saudi Arabia and is looking for political backing from the United States and other allies. The question now is, 'Will Donald Trump keep playing dumb, as he did yesterday when he was asked about it-or is he going to start putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to give us some answers.... "We don't know what happened yet".

United Nations rights office spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, on Tuesday echoed calls for "a prompt, impartial and independent investigation of the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to keep the findings public" in comments to journalists in Geneva. Unlike Trump, Obama had few kind words for the Saudi government, often attacking its history of human rights abuses and its role in funding jihadist terrorism.

Mr Trump said that he wanted to invite Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, to the White House, in a step that is likely to be taken as a personal rebuke to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's effective ruler, who was previously regarded as an ally of the Trump administration.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Turkish officials believed a 15-member Saudi team dismembered Khashoggi's body with a bone saw after murdering him within a couple hours of his entering the consulate.

The case has sparked outrage from human rights and journalism groups.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his department called on Saudi Arabia to "support a thorough investigation. and to be transparent about the results".

"This is a bad situation", Trump told reporters, adding that he would like to invite Khashoggi's fiancee to the White House. "We think that there is very little hope that Jamal is still alive".

Karen Elliott House, a veteran writer on Saudi affairs and chair of the board of trustees at RAND Corp., said USA support for the Yemen war is likely to be the focus of congressional criticism but won't endanger a relationship that has endured for decades, underpinned by shared strategic interests. "Silence, denials and delays are not acceptable".

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"Jamal has many friends in the Kingdom, including myself, and despite our differences, and his choice to go into his so called 'self-exile, ' we still maintained regular contact when he was in Washington", Khalid bin Salman added.

He has been critical of some policies of the crown prince and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen.

Khashoggi was last seen on October 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

While living in Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi was told to stop writing or posting on Twitter, where he has more than 1.6 million followers. "I have to abide by whatever the courts decide", he said.

Turkey said Tuesday it would search the Saudi Consulate.

The Saudis were discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, back to the kingdom, the newspaper claims, citing a person familiar with the communications, which were intercepted before he vanished. "Jamal Khashoggi is a Virginia resident, so his disappearance is personal to me".

The issue threatened the strong relationship the Trump administration has constructed with Mohammed Bin Salman.

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