Saudi Arabia's cabinet rejects interference in the Kingdom's affairs

Saul Bowman
October 10, 2018

Bruce Riedel, a former C.I.A. analyst who advised four presidents and is now at the Brookings Institution, called Khashoggi's disappearance consistent with the pattern of "crude intimidation" and the growing silencing of dissent in Saudi Arabia.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called on Riyadh to prove its claim that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing since last week, left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, while the Washington called on Saudi Arabia to support an investigation into his disappearance. Their ambassador to the USA insists that he personally had a friendly relationship with Khashoggi and remained in contact whenever both of them were in Washington.

But other Turkish officials have said they believe that Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents inside the consulate.

Late last week, the Washington Post ran blank space where a column by dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote for its Global Opinions section, should have appeared.

Ryan's statement came hours after Turkey said it would search the consulate, an extraordinary probe of a diplomatic post that indicates the pressure Saudi Arabia faces over Khashoggi's disappearance.

US President Donald Trump speaks as he arrives at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 8, 2018.

While the oil-rich kingdom is spending millions of dollars to paint the crown prince as a reformist moderate, Congress is increasingly concerned over the humanitarian impact of the US-backed Saudi-led war in Yemen while Trump himself has ripped Riyadh amid rising oil prices.

"What was explained to us is this: He was killed, make your funeral preparations", Kislakci said.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg News last week that Mr Khashoggi had left the building shortly after entering it.


Saudi authorities continue to insist they played no role in Khashoggi's disappearance.

The journalist said he had been banned from writing in the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, owned by Saudi prince Khaled bin Sultan al-Saud, over his defence of the Muslim Brotherhood which Riyadh has blacklisted as a terrorist organisation. According to his fiancée, who accompanied him and waited outside, he entered the building at 1:30 pm and failed to emerge when the office closed at 5 pm.

During a trip to Turkey, he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get papers ahead of his upcoming marriage, but he hasn't been seen since. "I know what everybody else knows - nothing", Trump said.

"State Department senior officials have spoken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels about this matter", Pompeo reported.

He said it comes as no surprise that Riyad is looking to quash criticism, but this case is beyond the sad but true usual jailing of journalists.

Rumors and leaks on Mr Khashoggi's fate are "malicious" and "outrageous" the ambassador said. "Hopefully that will sort itself out", the president added.

An official of Turkey's ruling AK Party told broadcaster CNN Turk there was concrete evidence in the case, although none has yet been presented.

What have both countries said?

. Erdogan asked. "Don't you have cameras and other things?"

Members of Congress, where there has always been bipartisan skepticism about Saudi Arabia, have issued statements and tweets demanding answers from Riyadh. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted Sunday that if "deeply disturbing" reports of Khashoggi's murder were confirmed, "The United States and the civilized world must respond strongly, and I will review all options in Senate".

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