Saudi Crown Prince's uncle returns to Riyadh after absence

Perspectives Leon Levy

It is reported Hurriyet Daily News, reports UKRINFORM.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Erdogan said he did not believe that Saudi King Salman had ordered the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate on October 2.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for the first time accused the Saudi government directly of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Late last month, Prince Mohammed said that "the crime was painful to all Saudis".

Another informed source told The Washington Post Bolton did not signal that he endorsed the Crown Prince's characterisation of Khashoggi during the call.

President Trump has described Khashoggi's killing as one of the worst cover-ups in history, and said he would leave the decision to punish the kingdom with Congress.

In a sign the administration and its supporters are not backing off support for Mohammed, a group of evangelical leaders - some closely associated with Trump - met in Riyadh this week with the crown prince.

But Khashoggi's family has denied the allegations that he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egypt-based Islamist organisation.

As for the Khashoggi disappearance, it is the belief of many that Saudi agents murdered him during his visit to the Gulf state's consultant in Turkey, then chopped into small pieces and discreetly transported him out of the building, or even dissolved him inside. "To claim otherwise would be ridiculous", the statement said.

There is still no consensus on how Khashoggi died.

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Khashoggi had entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to collect a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee. "Khashoggi was strangled to death and his body dismembered".

"The victim Jamal Khashoggi's body was dismembered and destroyed following his death by suffocation, again in line with the advance plans", the two-page statement read.

The Saudi attorney general has since acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated murder. However, as worldwide pressure increased, Riyadh admitted that the killing was an error, carried out by rogue elements.

Turkish President Erdogan has called for the 18 suspects - including the alleged 15-man hit team who travelled to Istanbul and left the same day - to be extradited for trial in Turkey.

"Contrary to claims made by the Saudi Crown Prince and others, Saudi Arabia hasn't been "reforming", it's been rounding up critics and activists in a brutal human rights crackdown", Allen added.

Erdogan has previously said that the killing of Khashoggi was planned by Saudi officials days in advance. He added that the Saudi officials who were still trying to cover up the killing should be discovered.

Trump said U.S. consequences would come in short order and would be severe. However, he also said he was unwilling to sacrifice lucrative arms deals with the country.

"It'll take us probably a handful more weeks before we have enough evidence to actually put those sanctions in place, but I think we'll be able to get there", Pompeo said in an interview with a St. Louis radio station on Thursday.

Mr Pompeo said the USA had "deep and long-term strategic relationships" with Saudi Arabia and said "we intend to make sure that those relationships remain intact".

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