Turkey: Joint ‘inspection’ planned at Saudi Consulate

Aaron Brown
October 18, 2018

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. He too had been scheduled to speak.

While a joint Turkish-Saudi investigation team is still cooperating on the ground, "the leadership had felt that an internal investigation was needed to make sure no stone is left unturned to unfold the truth", the official said.

The kingdom says the allegations are "baseless" but has offered no evidence Mr Khashoggi ever left the consulate.

Saudi Arabia warned it would retaliate against any sanctions imposed on the oil-rich kingdom over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as the Riyadh stock market plunged on growing investor jitters.

"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russian Federation or they're going to buy it from China or they're going to buy it from other countries", he said.

"There's not enough money in the world for us to buy back our credibility on human rights if we do not move forward and take swift action", Rubio said.

"No matter how important they may be to our Iranian strategy", he added, "our ability to be a voice for human rights - and to go after regimes like [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, like what China does, like what [President Nicolas] Maduro does in Venezuela - all of that is undermined and compromised if we are not willing to confront something as atrocious as what's allegedly happened here".

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, Riyadh critic and columnist forThe Washington Post, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 for routine paperwork ahead of his planned wedding. "Who knows?" Trump told reporters at the White House.

Kudlow also said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would be attending a Saudi conference this week to address terrorist financing, but those plans could change as details of the investigation become available.

A White House aide says President Donald Trump is serious when he says there'll be "severe punishment" if Saudi Arabia is found to be complicit in the disappearance of USA resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump quoted the King on Monday as saying that neither he nor his son, the crown prince, had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi.

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A statement also promised that if the kingdom receives any action "it will respond with greater action".

Trump administration officials told The Associated Press that intelligence collected by the U.S.is inconclusive as to what actually happened to Khashoggi.

Khashoggi hasn't been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Germany, France and Britain also jointly called for a "credible investigation".

Jamal reportedly went to the Saudi Consulate located in one of Istanbul's upscale neighbourhood on September 28 to get documents to marry his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's support of Islamist groups clashes with the stance of Gulf sheikhdoms that view groups like the Muslim Brotherhood as threats to their hereditary rule.

"We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi government to provide a complete and detailed response", they added.

Aram... There's now more and more worldwide pressure on the Saudis over the disappearance....

Late on Sunday, several Arab states and bodies released statements in support of the kingdom.

This statement came after the Saudi stock market plunged by almost 7 percent at one point on Sunday.

A Turkish official told Reuters on Sunday that the Saudis had said they would allow the consulate to be searched, and that this would happen by the end of the weekend, though he conceded to "flexibility on this date". Meanwhile, American politicians are threatening to sanction individual Saudi officials if evidence links them to the writer's disappearance.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened "severe punishment" if it turns out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, though he said Washington would be "punishing" itself if it halted military sales to Riyadh.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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