Saudi journalist disappearance ruffles feathers in Washington

Saudi journalist disappearance ruffles feathers in Washington

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saudi officials need to prove that Khashoggi left the building after arriving last Tuesday to get a document for his upcoming marriage.

Saudi Arabian officials have invited Turkish experts and related officials to visit its consulate in Istanbul.

But some suspect the investigation will not yield substantial answers.

In an article published by Al-Jazeera this week, journalist and analyst Bill Law described Khashoggi as "a brilliant journalist with a fiercely independent mind but with sufficient pragmatism to know just how close to the red lines he could go".

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.

Underscoring that Saudi Arabia is going through a "serious transformation" with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he quoted an English king: "What affects the people must be discussed by the people".

Less than a day after saying he was "concerned" for Khashoggi, Trump said he would talk with Saudi officials "at some point".

On its part, Riyadh has told Turkey to undertake vigorous investigations to unearth the case and may even search the Consulate premises for incriminating evidence.

Mahoney said Khashoggi's disappearance is "designed, in a very brutal way, to send a message 'if you speak out against the Saudi government, if it could happen to him, it could happen to you"'.

Saudi Arabia meanwhile says the allegations were baseless.

Khashoggi, 59, had a long career as a senior journalist in Saudi Arabia and also as an adviser to top officials.

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Erdogan's comments were his most direct suggestion yet of potential Saudi culpability in Khashoggi's disappearance.

"I am sure you are following the news stories about Jamal Khashoggi".

A top Senate ally of Trump warned of a "devastating" impact on the United States alliance with Saudi Arabia if allegations are confirmed.

"We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation", he said.

A senior Turkish police source told Middle East Eye that police believed that Khashoggi was "brutally tortured, killed and cut into pieces" inside the consulate after visiting the building on October 2. He had been living since previous year in the U.S.in a self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman.

But Khashoggi's fiancée is reportedly holding out hope, tweeting in Arabic late Saturday and translated by the Middle East Eye, "Jamal was not killed, and I don't believe that he was killed", the fiancée said.

Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that an examination will be carried out in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and that Saudi authorities were open to cooperation. It has allowed reporters into the consulate to show Mr Khashoggi is not there.

In a March 6 Guardian editorial co-authored with Robert Lacey, he wrote: "For his domestic reform programme, the crown prince deserves praise".

Relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia have been tense in recent months.

Khashoggi has been a vociferous critic of Prince Mohammed's policies in both the Arab and Western press.

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