Will get to bot­tom of it: Trump

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World - Agence France­Presse let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump threat­ened Riyadh on Satur­day with “se­vere pun­ish­ment” if a jour­nal­ist was killed in­side its Is­tan­bul con­sulate, as Saudi of­fi­cials were to hold talks in Turkey about his fate.

With the mys­tery over Ja­mal Khashoggi un­re­solved 11 days af­ter he walked into the con­sulate and failed to reap­pear, a pro­gov­ern­ment Turk­ish daily said the Saudi na­tional had recorded his own in­ter­ro­ga­tion in­side the mis­sion on an Ap­ple Watch.

The out­cry sur­round­ing his dis­ap­pear­ance threat­ens to not just harm brit­tle Turkey-Saudi re­la­tions but also alarm the king­dom’s sup­port­ers in the West and tar­nish the re­form drive spear­headed by the crown prince.

“We’re go­ing to get to the bot­tom of it and there will be se­vere pun­ish­ment,” Trump told CBS’s “60 Min­utes” pro­gramme, ac­cord­ing to an ex­tract of an in­ter­view that was re­leased on Satur­day.

“As of this mo­ment, they (Saudi) deny it and they deny it ve­he­mently. Could it be them? Yes,” Trump said in the in­ter­view, which was con­ducted on Thurs­day.

But he again voiced his re­luc­tance to limit US arms sales to the king­dom, which an­a­lysts see as one of Wash­ing­ton’s key po­ten­tial levers.

IS­TAN­BUL:

REUTERS

Hu­man rights ac­tivists and friends of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi hold his pic­tures dur­ing a protest out­side the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, Turkey, ear­lier this week.

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