Saudi del­e­ga­tion ar­rive in Turkey

Cyprus Today - - TURKEY -

A DEL­E­GA­TION from Saudi Ara­bia has ar­rived in Turkey as part of a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the dis­ap­pear­ance of prom­i­nent Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, three Turk­ish sources said yes­ter­day.

A Saudi source also said a se­nior royal, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, vis­ited Turkey on Thurs­day for talks. Later the same day Turkey said the two coun­tries had agreed to form a joint work­ing group, at Riyadh’s ini­tia­tive, to in­ves­ti­gate the case.

Mr Khashoggi en­tered the Saudi con­sulate in İs­tan­bul last Tues­day to get doc­u­ments for his forth­com­ing mar­riage. Saudi of­fi­cials say he left shortly af­ter­wards but Turk­ish of­fi­cials and his fi­ancée, who was wait­ing out­side, said he never came out.

Turk­ish sources have said the ini­tial assess­ment of the po­lice was that Mr Khashoggi, an out­spo­ken critic of the Saudi gov­ern­ment, was de­lib­er­ately killed in­side the con­sulate. Riyadh has dis­missed the al­le­ga­tions as base­less.

“A del­e­ga­tion has ar­rived in Turkey as part of ef­forts to form a joint work­ing group with Saudi Ara­bia,” one of the three sources said.

The del­e­ga­tion, which came on Thurs­day, is meet­ing a Turk­ish prose­cu­tor in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Jus­tice Min­istry, In­te­rior Min­istry, po­lice and the na­tional in­tel­li­gence agency, an­other source said.

There is no set date for how long the meet­ings will take, but “very quick re­sults need to be seen”, the source said. The team is now in İs­tan­bul and will con­tinue to work over the week­end, the source added.

Prince Khaled, the gover­nor of Mecca, made his brief visit in his ca­pac­ity as spe­cial ad­viser to King Sal­man, a source with links to the Prince’s fam­ily said, in a move that would sug­gest the monarch was treat­ing the is­sue as a pri­or­ity.

Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan has pre­vi­ously said that Turkey could not re­main silent over Mr Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance and called on of­fi­cials at the Saudi con­sulate in İs­tan­bul to prove he had left the build­ing.

On Tues­day, the Turk­ish for­eign min­istry said the Saudi con­sulate in İs­tan­bul would be searched as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Mean­while me­dia com­pa­nies are pulling out of a Saudi in­vest­ment con­fer­ence be­cause of grow­ing out­rage over the dis­ap­pear­ance of Mr Khashoggi.

Econ­o­mist ed­i­tor-in-chief Zanny Min­ton Bed­does will not par­tic­i­pate in the Fu­ture In­vest­ment Ini­tia­tive con­fer­ence in Riyadh, spokes­woman Lau­ren Hack­ett said in an email.

An­drew Ross Sorkin, a CNBC an­chor and New York Times busi­ness jour­nal­ist, tweeted that he was not at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence, say­ing he was “ter­ri­bly dis­tressed by the dis­ap­pear­ance of Mr Khashoggi and re­ports of his mur­der.”

The New York Times Co has also de­cided to pull out of the event as a me­dia spon­sor, spokes­woman Eileen Mur­phy said.

The Fi­nan­cial Times said in a state­ment that it was re­view­ing its in­volve­ment as a me­dia part­ner.

The dis­ap­pear­ance of Mr Khashoggi has also cast a shadow over the three­day con­fer­ence known as “Davos in the desert,” which is sched­uled to be­gin on Oc­to­ber 23. Bil­lion­aire, Steve Case, one of the founders of AOL, de­cided to dis­tance him­self from Saudi Ara­bia, say­ing he would no longer at­tend the event

For­mer US En­ergy Sec­re­tary Ernest Moniz also said that he had sus­pended his role on the board of Saudi Ara­bia’s planned mega busi­ness zone Neom un­til more is known about what hap­pened.

Hu­man rights ac­tivists and friends of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi hold his pic­tures dur­ing a protest in İs­tan­bul

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