Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Saudi government reportedly grappling with Khashoggi explanation to save face

Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi VIRGINIA MAYO AP Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi
Kelvin Reese | 16 October, 2018, 12:15

President Donald Trump says he's spoken to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who "denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened" to missing Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The shows of support came before CNN and the New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia was in fact preparing to acknowledge its role in Khashoggi's death by claiming that it was an interrogation gone wrong.

A Turkish diplomatic source had earlier said a joint Turkish-Saudi team would search the building - the last place Khashoggi was seen before he vanished on October 2. Saudi officials have called the allegations "baseless", but reports in U.S. media on Tuesday suggested the kingdom may acknowledge the writer was killed there. According to CNN, the report will likely claim the interrogation was conducted without clearance or transparency.

So far it still remains unclear how Trump would "punish" the kingdom economically over the journalist's disappearance, but major figures in the US Congress, such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio, have suggested halting arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi went to get paperwork for his forthcoming marriage. That was the last time the dissident journalist was seen - and Ankara says it has audio and video proof that he was murdered inside the building.

Trump says he doesn't "want to get" into King Salman's mind, but says, "it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

He made that point again and again as he left the White House, telling reporters, "All I can do is report what he told me".

Told that a cleaning crew walked into the consulate before the team arrived, she said: "You saw that? Wow".

In a "60 Minutes" interview that aired on Sunday, Trump said there would be consequences if it turned out Saudi Arabia had anything to do with Khashoggi's mysterious disappearance. A police dog was part of the search team. Several business leaders and media outlets have backed out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh, called the Future Investment Initiative.

Alex Bregman trolls Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi
And second baseman Jose Altuve has a knee injury that appeared to be hampering him around the bases in the ninth inning of Game 2. Ryan Brasier pitched a scoreless inning and erstwhile starter Rick Porcello set the Astros down 1-2-3 in the eighth.

Selena Gomez hospitalized, reportedly has 'emotional breakdown'
But she soon returned to the hospital because she was on another emotional rampage after her low white blood cell count continued. She was hospitalized twice within the last few weeks, both times for "an alarmingly low white blood cell count", TMZ reports .

Israeli forces kill six Palestinians during Gaza protests
The main border crossing to deliver fuel to Gaza had been closed by Israel for weeks on two separate occasions in July and August. They added that Hamas leader Ismail Haniya also attended the protests east of Gaza City and hailed the ongoing demonstrations.

The Saudi Government issued a statement condemning and denouncing "the false accusations circulated in media reports on the Saudi Government and other people in the purported relation to the disappearance" of Khashoggi.

The president has sent US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet Saudi King Salman in a case that has strained White House ties with the Saudis.

A Turkish forensic police officer works in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on Monday.

However, given the close political and economic links between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia it remains unclear what action he could take.

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi assassination team that flew into and out of Turkey on October 2 killed and dismembered Khashoggi.

The furor over Khashoggi has dealt a serious setback to Prince Mohammed's aggressive pitch for the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment.

In a joint statement, the nations called for a "complete and detailed response" from Saudi Arabia.

The club already have a connection with the oil-rich Gulf state after announcing a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia's General Sports Authority previous year.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to retaliate economically for any US punitive action.

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