$450 Billion in Investments at Stake in Saudi Crisis, Trump Says

Hugh Fox
October 21, 2018

USA president Donald Trump said Friday he found Saudi Arabia's explanation about the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi credible and termed it an "important first step".

According to the Saudi statement, "discussions that took place between him and the persons who met him during his attendance in the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul led to a quarrel and a brawl with the citizen/Jamal Khashoggi, resulted in his death".

"We will continue to closely follow the worldwide investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process", Sanders said.

Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.

Two senior officials - Saud al-Qahtani, and General Ahmed al-Assiri, a senior intelligence official - connected to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have been fired.

Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the Saudi embassy on October 2. "We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi's death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends".

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The most recent USA intelligence puts the total number of IS fighters at 28,000 to 32,000, roughly split between Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon also rejected Russian allegations that the USA and its coalition allies had failed to stem the threat from IS.

Earlier on Saturday, Riyadh announced the arrest of 18 Saudis and the sacking of two top aides of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as part of its probe into the killing.

And will the US government believe this explanation of the chain of events, which raises more questions and looks like an attempt to separate the Saudi royals from this crime?

Trump has sent mixed messages about Khashoggi for days, vowing a severe response but also saying that the United States wants to preserve its close relationship with the conservative kingdom.

"We expect transparency from Saudi Arabia about the circumstances of his death ..."

There's been no indication Khashoggi had any immediate plans to return to the kingdom.

Turkish officials believe he was tortured, murdered and his body dismembered by a Saudi hit squad, an allegation Saudi Arabia has strenuously denied.

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Despite this, the United States proceeded with its plan by relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. That is, until the USA under Donald Trump moved its embassy to Jerusalem this year.

Those responsible then tried to cover it up, a Saudi statement said, but there is no mention of what happened to the journalist's body. "We will continue to closely follow the worldwide investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

The announcements came in a flurry of statements carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency early Saturday morning.

The comment was one of many critical reactions to the Saudi Arabia's announcement of the writer's violent death, indicating the kingdom's efforts to defuse a scandal that has gripped the world were falling short.

"They have been a great ally in the Middle East".

Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, who sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the supposed list included murdered Saudi dissident/journalist Jamal Khoshoggi.

'I will remain a faithful servant of my country for a long time, and our dear homeland will remain lofty, God willing'.

‘It certainly looks like’ Khashoggi is dead, consequences will be ‘severe’
In an editorial headlined " Why is the Trump administration cleaning up Saudi Arabia's mess? ". Trump so far has resisted the call for strong action against Saudi Arabia.

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