Trump sends Secretary of State to meet Saudi king over Khashoggi disappearance

Roman Schwartz
October 16, 2018

The chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jamie Dimon, had been a featured speaker at the conference in Riyadh. Police then pushed back journalists from the front of the consulate, where they've been stationed for days, setting up a new cordon to keep them away. He too had been scheduled to speak. In an interview the day after the disappearance, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he believed that Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after entering. Saudia Arabia has denied the allegations and dismissed them as "baseless".

"Bangladesh welcomes Saudi Arabia's proposal to form a joint working group with Turkey to investigate the incident".

Republican Marco Rubio of Florida says that includes the multi-billion dollar arms deal that President Donald Trump wants to preserve. "We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment".

British billionaire Richard Branson on Friday suspended business links with Saudi Arabia.

But, he adds, that "cannot supersede our commitment to human rights".

President Trump has warned that Saudi Arabia would face "severe punishment" if it was found to have killed Khashoggi.

"There's something really bad and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we're going to have to see", President Trump said.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he still plans to attend but would "take (it). into account" if more information came out next week.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to the United States previous year fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

If the Trump administration, K Street, and D.C.'s foreign policy Establishment cares about the reality of the Saudis' actions, this cover story won't fly.

The Saudis themselves are warning they'll respond to any "threats" against the kingdom. The Saudi government denies this claim.

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While average Saudi oil production this year of about 10.2 million barrels a day has slightly trailed USA output at 10.6 million barrels daily, the Middle East nation's exports have averaged 7 million barrels a day, outpacing America's 1.8 million barrels a day of shipments.

"The President has called for a prompt and open investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi", the statement read.

Hours prior, President Trump announced in a tweet that he spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman about Khashoggi.

Khashoggi entered the consulate to collect some papers before his forthcoming marriage with his fiancée waiting outside.

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations", said the statement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The State Department has urged a thorough investigation and called on Saudi Arabia to be transparent about the results - advice broadly tracking messages from allies in Europe.

The Saudi stock market fell as much as 7 percent in early trade on Sunday, one of the first signs of economic pain Riyadh could suffer over the affair.

Visitors enter the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.

"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be hard, but we believe we will obtain evidence", the Turkish official said.

The Washington Post, citing unidentified United States and Turkish officials, reported that Turkey had told USA officials it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

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