Britain’s foreign secretary today warned that Saudi Arabia faces “serious consequences” if the suspicions of Turkish officials that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul turn out to be true.
It comes as The New York Times reports that highly placed Turkish security sources told the publication that Khashoggi was killed within hours of entering the consulate by a special hit squad on the orders of the Saudi royal court, and that his body had been dismembered with a bone saw.
Trump told reporters at the White House that he talked with the kingdom’s leaders “more than once” since Khashoggi, a USA resident and Washington Post contributor, disappeared on Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. We have a lot of things happening in this country.
“It points to the idea that whatever has happened to him, the Saudis – I mean, they’ve got some explaining to do”, Corker said in a Daily Beast report. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Let’s say-let me say this: It’s the highest level.
The Khashoggi incident might make it very hard for the Trump administration to win congressional approval for arms sales to the Saudis.
Lawmakers have been making increasingly strong statements regarding the U.S. -Saudi relationship this week after reports that the kingdom sought to silence one of its most outspoken critics. Murphy is part of a growing call in Congress to check USA support – which includes aerial refueling and arms sales – amid reports Saudi airstrikes have killed civilians.
Vice President Mike Pence signals the US may help investigate the disappearance of the Washington Post contributor and prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump on Tuesday said he was “very concerned about it”.
“Yes, we’re looking at it”.
“I think if we were to have another vote in the next week or two, I think you’d actually get a majority of the Senate who says ‘Hey we need to back off, ‘” he said.
A day earlier, more than two dozen US Democratic and Republican senators, including Corker, invoked a human rights law to demand that Trump formally investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said if Saudi Arabia had lured a US resident into a consulate and killed him, “it’s time for the United States to rethink our military, political and economic relationship with Saudi Arabia”.
The events surrounding Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance on October 2 as gleaned from footage provided to TRT World. Picture taken September 29, 2018.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday evening that United States intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Mr Khashoggi. He said his aides have been in contact with Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and hope to set up a meeting with her at the White House. “We’re demanding everything”, Mr Trump said when asked if he was demanding information from the Saudis.
On Wednesday, Turkish media outlets published CCTV footage, which they say shows evidence of a plot linked to Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance. The wealthy former government insider wrote columns for The Washington Post, including some critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Graham told Al Jazeera on Thursday that he has read United States intelligence that points to the Saudi government’s involvement in the disappearance of the Saudi writer.
“If a bird flew, if a mosquito appeared, these systems would catch them and (I believe) they (the Saudis) would have to most advanced of systems”.
A bipartisan group of senators has forced a USA investigation to determine whether sanctions should be imposed under the Magnitsky Act. “It is not possible for us to remain silent regarding such an occurrence, because it is not a common occurrence”, he said in comments quoted by Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday.
Khashoggi hasn’t been seen or heard from since entering the consulate last week.