‘It certainly looks like’ Khashoggi is dead, consequences will be ‘severe’

Anna Jefferson
October 19, 2018

He said, "Each of those meetings, I stressed the importance of them conducting a complete investigation of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and they made a commitment, they said they would do that".

The president also said consequences would have to be "very severe" if it turns out Saudi Arabia is responsible for Khashoggi's death.

Worldwide concern over the case has led to many business and political figures pulling out of an upcoming conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

In an editorial headlined "Why is the Trump administration cleaning up Saudi Arabia's mess?".

Khashoggi's disappearance and likely death has caused an global outcry and strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States and European countries.

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Benjamin H. Friedman, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities and an adjunct lecturer at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, said actions like the withdrawal from the Riyadh summit will be a blow to the Saudis, but likely not enough to get a satisfactory result.

On Friday, Pakistan's foreign ministry said Prime Minister Imran Khan would travel to Saudi Arabia next week to attend the conference.

"Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he's dead", Trump said to The Times. "And we're working towards that, we're looking forward to that", Pompeo told reporters.

The search of Belgrade Forest on Istanbul's European side began on Thursday, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet and NTV broadcaster said. "They are an important strategic alliance of the United States and we need to be mindful of that as well", he said. Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and permanent US resident, entered the consulate but never came out. "If they knew about it, that would be bad".

Turkish officials allege Mr Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate by Saudi Arabian agents - but the Kingdom denies the charges.

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But the issue of Khashoggi's fate is "gathering momentum", Charbonneau said, "and we hope that the momentum will be such that Turkey will not be able to say no, and will actually have to step forward ... and that the Saudis will be under so much pressure that they will have to cooperate" with a United Nations investigation.

Turkish officials have openly claimed that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, and that a group of 15 Saudi men flew to Istanbul around the time of Khashoggi's disappearance.

Saudi officials deny any involvement in his disappearance.

"I still want to wish and hope that he is alive and so on", Kislakci said.

A source familiar with the Turkish investigation has told CNN that Saudi intelligence officer and former diplomat Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb played a "pivotal role" in the apparent assassination of Khashoggi.

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Trump so far has resisted the call for strong action against Saudi Arabia.

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