U.S. Says Its Investigators Aiding Khashoggi Probe, UK Warns of 'Consequences'

W460

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said U.S. investigators were working with both Ankara and Riyadh to probe the suspicious disappearance in Turkey of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We can't let it happen. And we're being very tough and we have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia," Trump said in an interview with "Fox and Friends."

"I have to find out what happened," Trump said, when asked if U.S.-Saudi relations would be jeopardized by the disappearance of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who Turkish officials suspect was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"We're probably getting closer than you might think," he added.

Saudi Arabia insists Khashoggi exited its consulate in Istanbul after a brief visit.

But Trump told "Fox and Friends" that "he went in and doesn't look like he came out."

"Certainly doesn't look like he is around," Trump added.

Washington, United States | AFP | Thursday 10/11/2018 - 16:55 UTC+3 | 364 words

President Donald Trump said Thursday that US investigators were working with both Ankara and Riyadh to probe the suspicious disappearance in Turkey of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We can't let it happen. And we're being very tough and we have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia," Trump said in an interview with "Fox and Friends."

"I have to find out what happened," Trump said, when asked if US-Saudi relations would be jeopardized by the disappearance of Khashoggi, a US resident who Turkish officials suspect was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"We're probably getting closer than you might think," he added.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who lived in the United States, vanished October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document needed to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who waited for him outside.

Turkish police say he was murdered inside the consulate by a 15-member Saudi team that flew into the country just ahead of Khashoggi's scheduled appointment, and left the same day, according to Turkish government sources.

Saudi Arabia insists Khashoggi exited the consulate after a brief visit.

"He went in and doesn't look like he came out. Certainly doesn't look like he is around," Trump told "Fox and Friends."

The Washington Post, citing US intelligence intercepts, reported that Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to trap Khashoggi.

The United States has called for a transparent investigation, amid warnings by U.S. lawmakers of serious repercussions if suspicions of a murder were borne out.

"That would be a very sad thing and we'll probably know in the very short future," Trump said. "We have incredible people and incredible talent working on it. We don't like it. I don't like it. No good."

Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, have been personally close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, since turning to Saudi Arabia as a pivotal ally in the Middle East against Iran.

The Washington Post, citing U.S. intelligence intercepts, reported that the Saudi crown prince had ordered an operation to trap Khashoggi.

Britain's foreign secretary warned earlier on Thursday that Saudi Arabia faces "serious consequences" if the suspicions of Turkish officials that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul turn out to be true.

"People who have long thought of themselves as Saudi's friends are saying this is a very, very serious matter.

"If these allegations are true, there will be serious consequences because our friendships and our partnerships are based on shared values," Jeremy Hunt told AFP.

"We are extremely worried," he said.

Hunt said he had spoken to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and had told him "how very, very concerned the United Kingdom is."

Britain is a close ally and trade partner of Saudi Arabia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Saudi Arabia to release footage of Khashoggi and the U.S. president has demanded answers over his fate, as the kingdom faces growing pressure to provide a convincing explanation for his disappearance.

Khashoggi has not been seen since October 2 when he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain official documents for his upcoming marriage. Turkish officials quoted in media have said he was killed but Riyadh denies that.

The mystery has captivated the world but also threatens to harm brittle Turkish-Saudi relations and hurt efforts by the crown prince to improve the image of his country with a reform drive.

Comments 2
Missing peace007 11 October 2018, 16:56

Kingdom of Horror. Will Hariri still defend the Kingdom?

Thumb whyaskwhy 11 October 2018, 20:11

They are no different than the rest of the Middle East. Democracy will eventually take over once people realize how useless their Mullahs rulings truly are.