Dutch finance minister cancels visit to Saudi investment conference

19 October, 2018, 09:02 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogl meeting with Mike Pompeo

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured before being decapitated inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, the progovernment daily paper Yeni Safak reported on Wednesday, saying it had heard audio recordings of the incident.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was a strong critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Washington Post has previously cited unnamed U.S. and Turkish officials pointing to audio and video recordings that supposedly prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and was then dismembered.

The body of disappeared and likely murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been dissolved with acid, multiple outlets report.

USA lawmakers have blamed the Saudi leadership and many high profile guests have pulled out of a major Saudi Arabia investment conference in protest.

A senior government source says cabinet ministers, federal officials and embassy staff will skip next week's Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, which is also called "Davos in the Desert".

Mnuchin's decision is a relatively cost-free way for the U.S.to show it's taking a tougher stance against Saudi Arabia after Trump and Pompeo stressed that the U.S. -Saudi relationship is too significant to walk away from.

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Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who lived in the USA, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce.

The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the private meetings and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Pompeo told the crown prince that "time is short".

Saudi Arabia says it says it will disclose the results of its investigation into his disappearance. "That's going to be the first question I ask", he said. "We continue to seek an interview with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman".

Turkish investigators left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul early on Thursday after searching the building and consular vehicles, a Reuters witness said. The Saudis have dismissed those reports as baseless but have yet to explain what happened to Khashoggi, who was seen on video entering the consulate on October 2 but has not been seen since.

"The United States is supporting Saudi Arabia in its military efforts against Iranian backed Houthi rebels inside Yemen and so it's a very complex picture", said Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation.

Pompeo addressed reporters Thursday after briefing President Donald Trump at the White House on his talks with leaders in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

He added: "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

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