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USA and United Kingdom ministers boycott Saudi summit amid journo's case

19 October, 2018, 16:43 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • ISTANBUL Turkish police fly a drone over the residence of Saudi Arabia’s Consul General Mohammad al Otaibi on Wednesday.—AFP

The disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi has led to a number of tech companies, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, pulling out of a Saudi Public Investment Fund conference scheduled for later this month.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Saudi Arabia and Turkey this week, told reporters on a plane to Mexico that he's neither seen nor heard such a recording.

If Saudi Arabia is responsible, the consequences will be "very severe", he told the Times.

"We are waiting for some investigations, and waiting for the results".

Meanwhile, some of the strongest circumstantial evidence yet linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Khashoggi's presumed torture and murder emerged on Thursday.

The disappearance and likely death of Khashoggi, a United States resident and Washington Post columnist, has caused an global outcry and strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the West.

This episode reveals the truth behind the veil of Saudi Arabia's civility.

United States officials denied that the payment had anything to do with Pompeo's visit or Khashoggi, though a source told The New York Times that the timing of the deposit "was no coincidence".

Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi-Turkish team carry out consulate search
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and ambassador to Washington , Prince Khaled bin Salman, greeted Pompeo at the airport. The kingdom seems to be taking on each challenge one by one, beginning with Turkey where the macabre incident took place.

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"We need accountability" and for that a credible investigation is essential, he said.

Khashoggi, a USA resident, was allegedly last seen on October 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "If they knew about it, that would be bad", he said during an interview on Tuesday.

Although Pompeo suggested the USA could wait longer for results, an official familiar with his meetings in Riyadh and Ankara said the secretary had been blunt about the need to wrap the probe up quickly.

The time-stamped photos showed the man outside the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul on the morning Khashoggi disappeared, Sabah said.

Appearing on CBSN previous year, Khashoggi himself warned the Trump administration's embrace of Saudi leadership could backfire, and he criticized the Saudi crown prince's behavior in foreign policy as "impulsive".

In a related development, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders on Thursday urged Turkey to urgently ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a UN investigation into the possible extrajudicial execution of Khashoggi. "You are going to get me in trouble".

Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative, dubbed "Davos in the Desert", will be missing numerous major players after several world leaders and top business executives have decided not to attend.

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