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UK, US May Boycott Saudi Arabia Conference Over Journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Killing

15 October 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, October 8, called for a thorough and open probe by Washington's ally Saudi Arabia into the disappearance of journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia must cooperate with the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and allow Turkish officials to enter its Istanbul consulate, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday.

Unconfirmed reports said Khashoggi was likely killed inside the compound, which was denied by Saudi officials as 'baseless.'A day earlier, Saudi Arabia invited Turkish experts and officials to visit the consulate after Turkey demanded to search the building. But while he said he had spoken to Saudi officials-including possibly King Salman himself-Trump made no indication he pressed them for answers and seemed bewildered by the idea that he could possibly find out more.

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage.

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"The kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy".

Khashoggi is a resident of the United States and has been living in Washington, D.C. The journalist is the former editor-in-chief of a Saudi newspaper and was an adviser to Saudi government officials.

The paper printed pictures of the 15 Saudi nationals that appeared to be taken by security cameras during police control at an airport. The project is expected to be located along the Red Sea shore and will be linked with both Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government adviser, had been living in the United States since past year fearing arrest. News channel 24, a private Turkish TV channel close to Erdogan, has aired surveillance video of Khashoggi walking into the Saudi consulate, and a black van leaving later for the consul's home.

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Footage also showed some of the Saudis arriving in Istanbul after the first plane landed before 0030 GMT on October 2 and the men later checking into a hotel near the consulate.

Karen Elliott House, a veteran writer on Saudi affairs and chairwoman of the board of trustees at RAND Corp., said US support for the Yemen war is likely to be the focus of congressional criticism but won't endanger a relationship that has endured for decades, underpinned by shared strategic interests.

Graham on Wednesday noted that he has "been very supportive of Saudi Arabia" in the past. The administration also relies on Saudi support for its Middle East agenda to counter Iranian influence, fight extremism and support an expected peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians. According to one friend, Khashoggi told him "I don't trust them one bit" after a conversation with one such official. Even under the Obama administration, which had hard relations with Riyadh compared with Trump, there were some $65 billion in completed arms sales.

The interior minister also stressed the Kingdom's keenness on the interest of its citizens at home and overseas and its keenness in particular to clarify the whole truth about the disappearance of the citizen Jamal Khashoggi.

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UK, US May Boycott Saudi Arabia Conference Over Journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Killing