Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Trump reluctant to abandon Riyadh over missing journalist, wants evidence

Trump reluctant to abandon Riyadh over missing journalist, wants evidence

How the crown prince emerges from the crisis is a test of how the West will deal with Saudi Arabia in the future.

Swaths of United States executives have declined to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference next week.

Virgin Hyperloop One, one iteration of Elon Musk's visionary Hyperloop transportation project, unveiled its first pod prototype earlier this year.

"Saudi Arabia's not any other country", he said, "the government seems to have really persuaded the Saudi people that the war in Yemen is a war of necessity - that is to say, a war they have to fight to prevent Iran from establishing a beachhead on their southern border". There has been no such correction.

The cancellation comes amid an global outcry over the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Khashoggi's disappearance has hurt the reputation of Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, whose close relationship with US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has put him at the centre of the Administration's Middle East policy.

A suspect identified by Turkey in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a frequent companion of the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, The New York Times reported Tuesday.


Trump's remarks were his most robust defense yet of the Saudis. They said Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate, a schedule that would hardly allow time for an interrogation to go awry.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held separate meetings with Turkey's president and foreign minister for around 40 minutes each on Wednesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get paperwork for a marriage to a Turkish fiancée.

Prince Mohammed has painted himself as the face of a new, vibrant Saudi Arabia, diversifying its economy away from reliance on oil and making some social changes.

On Monday, after speaking with King Salman, President Donald Trump floated the possibility that Khashoggi was the victim of "rogue killers".

Even if an investigation into what happened to Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul exonerates the prince and the top Saudi leadership, the administration's deep reliance on him will be severely tested not least because of broad bipartisan revulsion in Congress to as-yet unconfirmed accounts of Khashoggi's fate.

United States media and officials have called on Ankara to release the evidence, but the Turkish investigators have not done so yet.


Two weeks after Khashoggi's disappearance on October 2, the United States and allies have collected some intelligence through their own sources and methods, which partly confirms news reports based on leaks of audio recordings, four of the sources said.

One of the Saudis reportedly replied: "Shut up if you want to live when you return to (Saudi) Arabia".

Trump says that Saudi Arabia is valued as a historic customer for the USA weapons industry.

"If a country engages in activity that is unlawful it's unacceptable", Pompeo said.

Saudi Arabia publicly pledged the payment to support United States stabilisation efforts in northeastern Syria in August, but questions persisted about when and if Saudi officials would come through with the money.

Turkish police have arrived at the residence of the Saudi consul in Istanbul to conduct a search over the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo told journalists Wednesday morning before flying to Turkey that the kingdom promised a "transparent investigation". There was a time when journalists believed the Internet would liberate information from the censorship and control associated with print media.


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