Trump to discuss missing journalist with Saudis

Trump to discuss missing journalist with Saudis

Turkey said on Tuesday it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, a week after he vanished during a visit there.

A man holds a poster of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest Monday organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

But some suspect the investigation will not yield substantial answers.

A Turkish forensics team is, meanwhile, poised to enter the premises in Istanbul, the Middle East Eye (MEE) news portal reported.

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.

Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government, had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017, when Saudi authorities launched a massive crackdown on the dissent.

On Sunday, Trump said he was concerned about reports regarding the journalist and did not "like hearing about it", but that he hoped the situation "that will sort itself out".

On Sunday, Erdogan did not directly repeat the investigators' fears about Khashoggi being dead when talking to reporters following a meeting of his Justice and Development Party in Ankara, Turkey's capital.

'If the worst-case scenario is realized, Saudi Arabia will have links to the murder of a vocal critic in a fashion engineered to create just enough doubt for the veneer of implausible-but-sufficient deniability, ' the New York-based Soufan Center said Tuesday.

Saudi officials have said denied the allegations, saying they are baseless.

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When asked if Mr Khashoggi faced charges in Saudi Arabia, the crown prince said his country would need to know where he was first.

Deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "I personally think the possibility of him being killed is stronger than other possibilities, although I do not want to accept it. I know what everybody else knows - nothing", Trump said.

We initially thought Jamal Khashoggi was kept at the guest house [at the consulate] and that he was taken out afterwards.

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.

Istanbul police experts were analyzing vehicles which entered and left the consulate, some of which were then seen on camera last Tuesday at the consul-general's residence, 200 meters away, the daily said.

Government sources said police believe the journalist was killed inside the consulate.

Three days before Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing he said Saudi Arabia does not arrest "dissidents" but those with "independent minds".

There was no immediate comment on the report from the Saudi authorities.

Khashoggi is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks and used to advise Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States and Britain.

Turkey also backed Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran during its U.S. trade disputes.

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