U.S. ramps up pressure on Saudis over missing journalist

U.S. ramps up pressure on Saudis over missing journalist

U.S. ramps up pressure on Saudis over missing journalist

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said he has suspended his role on the board of Saudi Arabia's planned mega city NEOM until more is known about Khashoggi.

Longtime diplomat Aaron David Miller, who has negotiated Middle East policy on behalf of multiple administrations, tweeted following Khashoggi's death: 'If Saudis were involved in Jamal's death or disappearance, that's obviously on them.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he addressed the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist with an unnamed senior Saudi leader at the "highest level".

Increasing pressure on Trump to respond, a bipartisan group of USA senators on Wednesday triggered a US investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance using a human rights law.

A Turkish official, speaking anonymously and without providing evidence, said earlier this week that Khashoggi, a Global Opinions section columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the consulate, a claim the Saudi government has vehemently denied. This has led to "speculation by officials and analysts in multiple countries", according to the Post, that the original plan may have been to capture Khashoggi and take him back to Saudi Arabia, and that the journalist had been killed when that plan somehow went south.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegation it abducted or harmed Khashoggi "baseless".

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish media outlets published CCTV footage which they say shows evidence of a plot linked to Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

The incident has been largely absent from Saudi media, but on Thursday Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al Awsat cited an unnamed source who said the kingdom was being targeted by "those who try to exploit the reality of the disappearance".

The Turkish newspaper also published the names, faces, and years of birth of each of the 15 intelligence team members. Local media described the Saudis being military and intelligence officers, as well as several "royal guards".

The Saudi government asserted that Khashoggi left the premises shortly after his visit. Yet Jamal did not think the Saudis could force him to stay at the consulate in Turkey, even if they wanted to arrest him. The reports did not cite a source and there was no official confirmation of the claim. Two others flew out commercially, Sabah said.

"We don't know what has happened to him".

Mr Erdogan questioned whether it was "possible for there to be no camera systems" running at the building, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reports.

Turkish spokesman Hami Aksoy said authorities are "open to cooperation" and willing to examine the consulate grounds, though it was not clear when a search would take place.

"We're demanding everything. We want to see what's going on here". "We're also confident that he would be transparent with readers about these efforts as they progressed".

Asked about a Washington Post report that U.S. intelligence had intercepted top Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, Trump told Fox, "It would be a very sad thing". "And we're going to get to the bottom of it", Trump said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump's aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner had all spoken to Prince Mohammed over the past two days over the case. It was not clear whether the Saudis meant to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, this person said. Rand Paul, another member of the committee, called for a halt on USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia until Khashoggi is found alive.

"I think the United States of America stands ready to assist in any way", Pence said.

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