Trump 'concerned' about missing journalist; Saudis deny involvement

Trump 'concerned' about missing journalist; Saudis deny involvement

Tawakkol Karman, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2011 holds a picture of missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi as she speaks to journalists near the Saudi Arabia consulate, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The image bears a date and time stamp saying it was taken on 2 October, when the Post's columnist entered the consulate to obtain divorce papers.

Turkish sources have told the Washington Post that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by a "murder team" while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying: "He has left".

In March, the State Department approved a $670 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia, part of a promised $110 billion in deals touted by Trump after his first presidential trip to the Saudi capital previous year. The Saudi Consulate is fully cooperating with the local authorities to uncover what happened after he left. Airport entrances and exits are being investigated.

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

Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and critic of the kingdom's leadership, was last seen entering the consulate in Istanbul's Levent district on October 2, when he arrived to retrieve an administrative document.

His firsthand knowledge of the region and nexus with all kinds of people wielding authority made him suitable to be handpicked in an advisory capacity for the Saudi intelligence and he regularly advised the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al Faisal on sensitive matters.

Trump, speaking at the White House, said he does not know anything about Khashoggi's disappearance and that he had not yet spoken with Saudi officials about the situation.

Recall that in June of previous year, several Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE) - broke relations with Qatar and imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar.

Turkey summoned the Saudi ambassador on Sunday to request the kingdom's "full cooperation" in the investigation, a Foreign Ministry official said. "I don't like hearing about it", Trump told reporters on Monday.

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Trump, who has long criticized the USA media, on Monday said he was concerned about reports regarding the journalist and did not "like hearing about it", but that he hoped the situation "will sort itself out".

Riyadh has denied Khashoggi was killed or detained on its Istanbul premises, and claims that the veteran journalist left the consulate shortly after entering.

"There's some pretty bad stories about it".

Reuters' Turkish sources did not say how they thought Khashoggi was killed.

Deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It is well-known that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have, of late, been involved in a fierce competition to gain supremacy in the Middle East and Gulf region. "This case sends a shockwave among Saudi Arabian human rights defenders and dissidents everywhere, eroding any notion of seeking safe haven overseas".

Where is Jamal Khashoggi?

Turkey also said on Tuesday that it will search the consulate as part of an investigation into the disappearance of the Saudi contributor to The Washington Post.

Saudi Consul-General Mohammad al-Otaibi told Reuters on Saturday that the consulate's own security cameras showed only a live stream and did not record footage, so they could not provide evidence of Khashoggi's movements.

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