Monday, 22 October, 2018

United States pressures Saudi over missing journalist

Khashoggi case should not be politicized, says UN expert Report: U.S. Knew of Saudi Plan to Capture WaPo Columnist, Failed to Stop It
Guillermo Jimenez | 11 October, 2018, 20:12

President Donald Trump said Wednesday the U.S.is "demanding" answers from Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of a well-known Saudi writer and government critic Turkish authorities say was slain inside his country's diplomatic mission in Istanbul. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said it would be time for the U.S.to rethink its relationship with Saudi Arabia if it turned out Khashoggi was lured to his death by the Saudis. "I'd have to find out, really, before I discuss this I'd have to find out what happened - and we are looking".

On Wednesday, a week after Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance, the White House said that senior officials had spoken to the crown prince, referred to in shorthand as MbS, and Trump described the case as a "very serious situation".

"We are very very disturbed" by Khashoggi's disappearance", said Code Pink founder Meda Benjamin.

Trump also appeared for an interview on Fox News Wednesday night, were he was reluctant to say he would cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the disappearance and possible murder of Khashoggi. And we will get to the bottom of it.

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Mr Trump, who took his first overseas trip as USA president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi. Yet no search had begun as of 6 p.m., and Turkish officials told a pro-government daily that the Saudi side had requested a postponement.

Riyadh has said Khashoggi left the consulate after his visit.

The law, enacted in 2016, requires the White House to launch an investigation into human rights violations anywhere on the planet if asked by the Senate Foreign Relations committee, with a 120-day deadline to submit a report and decide on imposing sanctions on "foreign person or persons" held responsible for "extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual exercising freedom of expression", according to the letter.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday evening that U.S. intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Mr Khashoggi.

Fugitive Prince Calls For Civil Disobedience To Change Saudi Regime
He told her to call an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he did not return. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation".

Turkish officials said the event reminded them of the film "Pulp Fiction", and said one of the men wielded a bone saw they suspect was used to dismember the journalist's body.

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and said he left the consulate shortly after he entered last Tuesday.

Turkish security sources told TRT World that the "hit squad" took CCTV footage from the consulate with them when they left Turkey. The video later shows some of the men leaving a hotel near the Saudi consulate and Khashoggi entering the consulate. Relations were already strained after Turkey sent troops to the Gulf state of Qatar previous year in a show of support after its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, imposed an embargo on Doha.

WWE's continued business in Saudi Arabia remains a hot-button topic in professional wrestling, particularly with Crown Jewel (2 November) right around the corner, and PWTorch.com's Wade Keller has this week highlighted a damning new Washington Post article on current USA/Saudi relations. It was not clear whether the Saudis meant to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, this person said. Corker said "everything points to them".

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States should stop what he called groundless attacks on his country's policies. Wang said the North Korean issue shows that Beijing and Washington "can and should increase communication and cooperation".

The Kentucky Republican said he hopes Trump will support stronger measures against Saudi Arabia "if there is any evidence they killed this journalist". The administration also relies on Saudi support for several aspects of its Middle East agenda.

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