Saudi Relations Strain As Trump Promises Action Over Missing Journalist

Saudi Relations Strain As Trump Promises Action Over Missing Journalist

Kerry Wise
October 19, 2018

The sources said the interrogation was meant to lead to his enforced return to Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. He said any response to Khashoggi's killing "needs to be strong, not symbolic", including the possibility of cutting off US weapons sales to Riyadh, or it would undermine the USA moral standing in the world.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Riyadh today, the State Department said, adding that 'the president has called for a prompt and open investigation'.

Three high-profile Wall Street CEOs reportedly attempted to persuade Saudi officials to push back Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative conference.

Trump has repeatedly stressed that the Saudis vehemently deny their involvement in his disappearance. "He firmly denied that".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on late Sunday held a phone talk with the Saudi King to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, when he urged Saudi Arabia to explain Khashoggi's fate and provide evidence that Khashoggi exited the building after entering.

Turkish police officers enter the Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul.

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Last week, Turkey accepted a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to investigate Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

If United's current owners were to sell the club, it would cost the Saudis more than £3bn - but there is a chance that the crown prince could instead just buy a portion.

Trump on Monday said he spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who denied any knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance. But he left Saudi Arabia roughly a year ago over fears for his safety after writing articles critical of the government, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"This is the same King Salman who told me after 9/11 that the 9/11 attacks were an Israeli plot", Jordan said.

The Saudis "have to be aware that if they move forward with the conference, the story will be 'nobody showed up, '" the source said. When it comes to Saudi Arabia these days, things could not get weirder or uglier.

Turkish officials said they believe a 15-member Saudi hit team that arrived in Turkey from Riyadh on private jets on October 2, the same day Khashoggi vanished, travelled to the consulate, where they killed Khashoggi, dismembered his body and removed it from the country. "We're going to try get to the bottom of it very soon but his was a flat denial". He met King Salman in the morning and was due to meet the Crown Prince later.

TRT World's Francis Collings has more from outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A Saudi business conference has been abandoned by an avalanche of attendees, including longtime Saudi financiers like JPMorgan.