Arab Nations Pledge Support For Saudi Arabia As 'Khashoggi Affair' Heats Up

Aaron Brown
October 19, 2018

President Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "totally denied any knowledge" of what happened when Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing this month after visiting the consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that he was personally overseeing the investigation into the investigation of Khashoggi's disappearance and insisted that the journalist never left the Saudi consulate. No U.S. government officials "should be going and pretending as it's business as usual, until we know exactly what's happened here", Rubio said. Trump said he didn't "want to get into (King Salman's) mind", but told reporters: "it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers". Global criticism of the Saudi government has been steadily amplifying, with threats of sanctions from the U.S. and calls from European nations for a full investigation into Khashoggi's fate.

CNN received no response when reaching out to the CEO, managing director and organizers of the conference about whether a delay had been discussed.

Trump's rogue killers idea, which could apparently give Saudi officials a pass in Khashoggi's disappearance, may turn out to be awkward for the president. "He firmly denied that".

A pro-government Turkish daily published preliminary evidence last week from investigators it said identified a 15-member Saudi intelligence team which arrived in Istanbul on diplomatic passports hours before Khashoggi disappeared.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin still plans to attend a previously scheduled Saudi conference this week to address terrorist financing, but those plans could change as the investigation progresses.

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Two of the officials said the search could take place as early as Monday afternoon.

If the autopsy specialist left Saudi Arabia for Istanbul before Khashoggi entered the consulate, as Turkish sources have asserted, it might be hard to square with the explanation that any killing was the result of a botched interrogation, and not premeditated. Given what we know, it sure seems likely that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the new self-proclaimed "reformer" of Saudi Arabia, issued an assassination order, and dramatically underestimated the political blowback that would ensue.

"This is the same King Salman who told me after 9/11 that the 9/11 attacks were an Israeli plot", Jordan said.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said Pompeo was expected in Turkey on Wednesday to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, after talks in Riyadh.

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that Saudi Arabia's king strongly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance. "Bangladesh welcomes Saudi Arabia's proposal to form a joint working group with Turkey to investigate the incident". Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Gulf states in a military campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Crown Prince Mohammad - second in command to King Salman - wants to make his mark in the world of football and views Glazer-owned Manchester United as the ideal acquisition, The Sun reported today, citing 'well-placed sources'.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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