Riyadh slams ‘baseless lies’ ahead of talks in Turkey
ISTANBUL: TOP NAMES FROM BUSINESS AND MEDIA HAVE ALREADY CANCELLED PLANS TO ATTEND A MAJOR CONFERENCE IN RIYADH IN OCTOBER
A delegation of a dozen Saudi officials was in Turkey on Saturday for talks on the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Riyadh slammed as “baseless lies” Turkish accusations he was killed inside its Istanbul consulate.
With the mystery of his fate unresolved 11 days after he walked into the consulate and failed to reappear, a pro-government Turkish daily said Khashoggi had recorded his own interrogation inside the mission on an Apple Watch.
Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. Saudi insists Khashoggi, whose writings have been critical of Prince Mohammed and entered the consulate for paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee, left the building safely but has yet to offer visual evidence of this.
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 Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Top names from business and media have already cancelled plans to attend a major conference in Riyadh in October aimed at showcasing the reforms.