Top US officials talk to bin Salman on Khashoggi

Gladys Abbott
October 11, 2018

Saudi special forces officers, intelligence officials, national guards and a forensics expert were allegedly among a 15-man team tied to the disappearance in Istanbul of the high-profile dissident Jamal Khashoggi, it has been reported by Turkish pro-government papers.

National security adviser John Bolton and senior adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, talked with Salman on Tuesday, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a follow-up call with the Saudi leader to reiterate the US demand for information about the case, the White House said.

But the 18 others also signed the letter to send Trump a strong bipartisan message of support for a serious USA response to Khashoggi's disappearance, Senate aides said. "We can not let this happen, to reporters, to anybody".

News of Saudi Arabia orchestrating the assassination of Khashoggi has put further pressure on its ally the USA to take action. Knowing that Khashoggi would be at the Consulate on October 2, the New York Times has reported, Saudi agents planned to kill him and dismember his body inside the Consulate. "We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as available".

The agreement reached with the US over Manbij province in northern Syria has not completely ended, however, it is moving slower than expected, Erdoğan said, regarding the deal reached with Washington for the withdrawal of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the PKK terrorist organization's Syria affiliate. It's a very bad situation.

"We think that there is very little hope that Jamal is still alive". They said at the weekend they believed Mr Khashoggi was killed by a team sent to Istanbul and thought to consist of 15 Saudis.

"Silence, denials and delays are not acceptable".

"We knew of Jamal's interest in building platforms to promote the discussion of issues that he is passionate about, notably freedom and democracy in the Middle East", he told the Daily Beast.

The wealthy former government insider had been living in the self-imposed exile.

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He has been critical the monarchy's continued arrest of critics on both the left and right, despite its professed reforms.

Corker tells The Associated Press that information he has reviewed suggests that Jamal Khashoggi was killed on October 2, the day he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia remained silent as the images, though not offering definitive proof about Khashoggi's fate, played across television networks in Turkey and around the world. "Before I discuss this I'd have to find out what happened", he said.

On Wednesday, Turkish television released CCTV footage of him entering the consulate. Claims that he was murdered have been dismissed by the Saudi authorities as "baseless".

A USA intelligence source told the New York Times that US intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi agents discussing a plot to either capture or kill Khashoggi.

Hatice Cengiz made the appeal in an opinion piece for The Washington Post newspaper, where Khashoggi was a columnist and an outspoken critic of some of Riyadh's policies.

But State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters they had no such tip.

There are plenty of gruesome rumours flying around over what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

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