The mysterious case of the missing Saudi journalist

Alleged Saudi Murder of Washington Post Columnist Prompts Calls to Halt U.S. Relations with Regime

Alleged Saudi Murder of Washington Post Columnist Prompts Calls to Halt U.S. Relations with Regime

The Turkish president had struck a measured tone when pressed on Khashoggi, while allowing government officials and state media to drip-feed allegations. Riyadh claims he exited through a back door, the Turks are dubious and the search is on for clues.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and United States resident, had written articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Foreign Office has never had any illusions that the Saudi economic and social modernisation programme under the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the de facto ruler, includes any commitment to free expression or a turn towards democracy. Turkey has demanded answers about what happened to the exile in the building, and the government has summoned the Saudi ambassador twice to get them. Footage emerged Tuesday showing Khashoggi entering the building the week before.

The search will take place as part of the official investigation, which was being conducted "in an intense manner", he said without giving any date.

"Consulate officials can't save themselves by saying, 'He left here.' And relevant authorities are obligated to provide proof of this claim", Erdogan said during a visit to Hungary.

Robert Pear, a former USA ambassador to Turkey, said the case could change the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The Foreign Office would face charges of hypocrisy if, after its outrage over the attempted assassination by Russian Federation of the former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, it remained silent over an alleged murder by the Saudi government.

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, and that a group of 15 Saudi nationals were involved in the murder. Given America's silence about the extortion of detainees' funds to secure their release, MBS must be confident that the Trump administration "will do nothing about human rights violations in Saudi Arabia", Riedel wrote, adding, "He is probably right". The Turkish private NTV television said Ankara asked for permission for its investigators to search the consulate building, but a Foreign Ministry official would not confirm the report.

One jet, carrying nine people, allegedly landed in the early hours of October 2.

"If the Saudi regime murdered a journalist critic in their own consulate, there must be accountability and there must be an unequivocal condemnation by the United States", Sanders said in a foreign policy address at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said last week that Riyadh was "ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises", because it had "nothing to hide" about the missing journalist.

But even hard-nosed pragmatists, like Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East adviser to Republican and Democratic administrations, have urged the White House to denounce the prince should it be established that Khashoggi has, in fact, been murdered.

"Yes, this is of serious concern, the apparent enforced disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi from the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul", UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing.

The prince emphasized Saudi Arabia is taking "extraordinary" measures to locate Khashoggi, "just as we would if it were any other Saudi citizen". "If this is true - that the Saudis lured a US resident into their consulate and murdered him - it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia", said Sen.

Protesters gathered outside the Saudi consulate Monday demanding to know what had happened to Khashoggi.

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