Trump adds to pressure as Saudi isolation grows over missing critic

16 October, 2018, 12:59 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Saudi Arabia Vows Retaliation if Punished over Missing Critic

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of the Saudi government, was last seen alive on October 2, entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to get marriage-related paperwork processed.

CNN reports that the Saudi government is preparing to say Jamal Khashoggi died during an interrogation that went wrong. "The report is intended, per CNN, to absolve the Saudi government of responsibility for the murder by claiming the operation was not cleared", the new report said. On Monday, industry publication the Hollywood Reporter, citing anonymous sources, said Endeavor was seeking to give back the money and revoke the stake. Saudi officials previously have called the allegations "baseless", but reports in US media on Tuesday suggested the kingdom may acknowledge the writer was killed there.

Just a few hours prior, Trump had speculated on Monday that "rogue killers" may have been behind the disappearance of the Saudi journalist and dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case.

President Donald Trump initially made it clear that whatever the outcome of the inquiry into the disappearance of Khashoggi, the U.S. would not forgo billions of dollars in arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

The controversy has troubled Saudi's traditional Western allies - who are key arms suppliers to the kingdom - and also undermined efforts by Mohamed bin Salman to present himself as a modernising ruler.

On Sunday, Riyadh angrily rejected political and economic "threats" over the case of the missing journalist and said it would respond to any punitive action "with a bigger one".

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Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents but Riyadh insists that he left the consulate unharmed.

Last year, Saudi Arabia launched the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference, an event attended by businesses and government leaders around the world to discuss trends in the global economy.

Turkish officials have said they believe a 15-member Saudi "assassination squad" killed Mr Khashoggi there.

Investors have taken fright, prompting Saudi stocks to tumble by around seven percent at one point on Sunday, wiping out their gains for 2018.

Until now, Riyadh has not allowed Turkish investigators to search the consulate - officially Saudi territory - with reports both sides were at odds over the conditions.

In Istanbul, meanwhile, investigators entered the consulate for their own investigation.

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Shortly after the cleaning crew entered the Saudi consulate, a team of investigators arrived in an unmarked police vehicle to begin an inspection of the building a full 13 days after Khashoggi entered to obtain marriage documents and never reemerged.

They include the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars; billionaire Richard Branson; JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive Jamie Dimon; and Ford Motor Co. cxecutive chair Bill Ford.

"I think one of the strong things that we can do is not only stop military sales, not only put sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but most importantly, get out of this bad, awful war in Yemen led by the Saudis", Sen.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to Washington a year ago fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

Mr. Trudeau also said talk of Canadian sanctions on Saudi Arabia is premature.

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