Trump Sends Pompeo to Riyadh Over Khashoggi

17 October, 2018, 16:55 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Trump Sends Pompeo to Riyadh Over Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi, 60, is feared to have been killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now in Saudi Arabia meeting royalty amid growing global tension over the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Security services in Turkey have used pro-government media to leak details of Khashoggi's case, adding to the pressure on the kingdom.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada is very anxious about the disappearance of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and makes no apologies for pushing a human rights agenda with Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo had a short discussion with King Salman before a longer meeting with the King's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday. Khashoggi was a US resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post and he was critical of the Saudi government, calling for reforms.

Khashoggi, a United States resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of the powerful Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago to get marriage documents.

Turkish police on Monday night undertook an eight-hour search at the consulate, taking away soil and DNA samples, although a search expected on Tuesday at the consul's residence has so far not taken place. However, U.S. news reports said Saudi Arabia was edging toward acknowledging that Khashoggi was killed after he entered the consulate, blaming his death on an interrogation gone wrong.

"Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent", he said.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning that de facto Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman (commonly referred to as MBS) has "got to go" in light of the country's suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing for two weeks since last being seen entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

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In August, Saudi Arabia reacted strongly to a tweet from Freeland calling for the immediate release of detained activists, including Samar Badawi, a champion of women's rights and the sister of detained blogger Raif Badawi.

The Saudi consul left Turkey for the Saudi capital Riyadh Tuesday just hours after Turkish officials said they wanted to search his residence and the consulate's fleet of vehicles, Ankara's Foreign Ministry said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters the investigation "was looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over".

"I emphasised the importance of conducting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation, and the Saudi leadership pledged to deliver precisely on that", he said.

She said under worldwide law, both a forced disappearance and an extra-judicial killing were "very serious crimes" and immunity should not be used to impede investigations into what happened and who is responsible.

But this is the first time Turkish media have claimed to hear the tapes. "We have said before that Saudi Arabia must cooperate with us in every aspect without delay".

Trump's warning drew an angry response Sunday from Saudi Arabia and its state-linked media, including a suggestion that Riyadh could wield its oil production as a weapon.

After Utaybi told the interrogators to "do it somewhere else outside or I will be in trouble", he was told to "shut up if you want to live when you are back in Arabia". I'm going to sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia.

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