Jeremy Hunt warns Saudi Arabia over disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Jeremy Hunt warns Saudi Arabia over disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Jeremy Hunt warns Saudi Arabia over disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The Washington Post repeated its demand Tuesday that the governments of Turkey and Saudi Arabia provide information about the whereabouts of contributor Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been seen since he entered Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul last week. That team was sent "specifically for the murder", a person with knowledge of the Turkish investigation tells the Post.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., attacked Trump today over his cozy relationship with Riyadh, which he argues enabled Khashoggi's alleged murder along with other exactions by Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi went to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Authorities in Istanbul believe he was murdered within the consulate walls, but the Saudi government maintains he left.

Late last week, the Washington Post ran blank space where a column by dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote for its Global Opinions section, should have appeared.

The mainstream is rightly starting to focus on the repressive history of the Saudi de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but is not emphasizing that he is also responsible for the armed onslaught against neighboring Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of civilians, maybe more, and triggered the largest cholera epidemic in human history.

"Saudi authorities said they were open to cooperation and that a search can be conducted at the consulate building", the ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Even President Donald Trump, who took his first overseas trip as U.S. president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had concerns.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said it was alarmed by reports Khashoggi may have been killed inside the consulate. "We want to swiftly get results", he said, adding without explanation: "My expectation is still positive".

Khashoggi, who had been critical of the Salman government, has been living for a year in self-imposed exile in the United States after a Riyadh crackdown on dissent in the kingdom.

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A top Senate ally of Trump warned of a "devastating" impact on the United States alliance with Saudi Arabia if allegations are confirmed.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters about the subject.

It says the journalist left the consulate shortly after arriving, while Turkey says he was not seen leaving the building. But while the consulate says that Khashoggi left the premises the same day he visited, his fiancee says he never came out.

His disappearance is likely to further deepen divisions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

"State Department senior officials have spoken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels about this matter", Pompeo reported.

The private DHA agency said the planes, which it identified as a two Gulfstreams belonging to a Riyadh-based company that hires private jets, landed at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on the day Khashoggi vanished.

A Turkish official separately told The Associated Press that authorities believe Jamal Khashoggi was slain at the Saudi Consulate, while another said it was a "high probability".

He moved to the U.S. more than a year ago, where he continued his commentary about his country both in print and on television. Khashoggi is just the kind of Saudi from whom MBS needs to hear.

Analysts said the Trump administration felt obliged to speak out on Khashoggi after rising attention from the media and especially on Capitol Hill, where prominent lawmakers on both sides have voiced outrage over the journalist's detention or possible killing.

In a rare public appearance in October, the crown prince - known as MBS - said he would strive for "a country of moderate Islam that is tolerant of all religions and to the world".

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