Saudi un­der pres­sure to an­swer

Cape Times - - WORLD -

TURKEY’S pres­i­dent in­creased his pres­sure on Saudi Ara­bia over the dis­ap­pear­ance of jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, lo­cal me­dia re­ported yes­ter­day, while US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ex­pressed reser­va­tions over with­hold­ing Amer­i­can arms sales over the writer.

Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan’s com­ments ap­pear aimed at slowly in­ten­si­fy­ing the crit­i­cism while bal­anc­ing the need to main­tain the king­dom’s in­vest­ments in Turkey and re­la­tions on other is­sues.

Trump’s re­marks, on the other hand, came as prom­i­nent Amer­i­can law­mak­ers in­creas­ingly crit­i­cise Saudi Ara­bia – Amer­ica’s long-time se­cu­rity ally in the re­gion.

Turk­ish of­fi­cials fear Khashoggi was killed by the Saudis af­ter walk­ing into the king­dom’s con­sulate in Is­tan­bul on Oc­to­ber 2, though they haven’t of­fered any ev­i­dence to sup­port that.

The king­dom calls the al­le­ga­tion “base­less”, but has not of­fered any ev­i­dence to ex­plain why Khashoggi sim­ply walked out of the con­sulate and dis­ap­peared while his fi­ancée waited out­side for him.

Er­do­gan was quoted by Turk­ish me­dia yes­ter­day as telling jour­nal­ists fly­ing with him back home from a visit to Hun­gary that “we can­not re­main si­lent to such an in­ci­dent”.

“How is it pos­si­ble for a con­sulate not to have se­cu­rity cam­era sys­tems? Is it pos­si­ble for the Saudi Ara­bian con­sulate where the in­ci­dent oc­curred not to have cam­era sys­tems?” Er­do­gan asked.

“If a bird flew, if a mosquito ap­peared, these sys­tems would catch them and (I be­lieve) the Saudis would have the most ad­vanced of sys­tems.”

Mean­while, Trump told re­porters he had sched­uled a call to Khashoggi’s fi­ancée, Hat­ice Cen­giz, who has ap­pealed to the pres­i­dent for help.

Trump said he had spo­ken to the Saudis about what he called a “bad sit­u­a­tion,” but he did not dis­close de­tails of his con­ver­sa­tions. He also said the US was work­ing “very closely” with Turkey, “and I think we’ll get to the bot­tom of it”.

White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton and pres­i­den­tial se­nior ad­viser Jared Kush­ner spoke to Crown Prince Mo­hammed on Tues­day about Khashoggi.

Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo then had a fol­low-up call with the crown prince to re­it­er­ate the re­quest for in­for­ma­tion and a thor­ough, trans­par­ent in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In an in­ter­view later Wed­nes­day with Fox News @ Night, Trump said he wanted to find out what had hap­pened to Khashoggi but ap­peared re­luc­tant to con­sider block­ing arms sales, cit­ing eco­nomic rea­sons.

“I think that would be hurt­ing us,” Trump said.

How is it pos­si­ble...for the Saudi Ara­bian con­sulate not to have cam­era sys­tems? RE­CEP ER­DO­GAN turk­ish pres­i­dent

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