Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Saudi Arabia preparing to admit Khashoggi was killed

Saudi Arabia preparing to admit Khashoggi was killed

It remained unclear what evidence they might be able to uncover.

Erdogan and Salman discussed "the issue of shedding light on the case of Jamal Khashoggi" and also emphasised the "importance of creating a joint working group within the framework of the investigation", a Turkish presidential source, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

"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. James Lankford, R-Okla., who was at the White House for the arrival of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was released from Turkey after almost two years of confinement.

President Donald Trump initially made it clear that whatever the outcome of the inquiry into the disappearance of Khashoggi, the United States would not forgo billions of dollars in arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman, who is next in line to the throne. The Turkish government is reportedly accusing Saudi Arabia of killing him as they claim that there is no evidence of Khashoggi ever leaving the building.

"The president several times said we want a prompt, swift, open, transparent investigation", Kudlow said. But it has rapidly become a vehicle for those firms to express their concerns over Khashoggi's disappearance.

The foreign minister of the neighboring island kingdom of Bahrain, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, tweeted Sunday night that there should be a boycott of the ride-hailing app both there and in Saudi Arabia.

In the US, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Saudi Arabia should take Trump's warning over the journalist's fate seriously. "If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure", he wrote.

Saudi Arabia will allow Turkey to search its consulate in Istanbul Monday afternoon, almost two weeks after prominent journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi entered the consulate on October 2 and has not been seen since.

But Trump has said he is wary of halting USA military sales to Saudi Arabia over the incident.

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The search represents new co-operation between Turkey, which says it fears Khashoggi was killed and dismembered there, and Saudi Arabia, which maintains the allegations it faces are "baseless" despite being unable to explain what happened to Khashoggi.

In an interview with Egypt's Al Shorouk newspaper in March, Prince Mohammed declared Turkey part of a "triangle of evil", along with Iran and terrorist groups, reflecting deep suspicion of the Turkish leadership's links to religious groups including the Muslim Brotherhood that the Saudi royal family sees as a security threat.

Trump also seemed to offer another theory for a crime allegedly carried out at the Saudi diplomatic post.

The former congressional staffer argued that faced with increasing pressure inside and outside of the US, Trump had no other option than taking punitive measure against the Saudis.

"The Saudis have treated Turkey like a third-class country", he said. "It badly undermines Erdogan's narrative of Turkey being a regional power".

Dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, 58, has been missing since last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate to gather documents for marriage. Despite being anxious for his safety, he had gone into the consulate in Istanbul to get a document necessary to marry his Turkish fiancee, his fiancee and friends have said.

The search came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman also had their first telephone talks since the controversy erupted, in what appeared to be a conciliatory conversation according to official readouts.

Saudi officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the consulate inspection.

But Ankara and Riyadh disagreed over the search after Saudi officials reportedly said they would only allow a superficial "visual" search. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

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