New bombshell in Jamal Khashoggi murder links Saudi Crown Prince
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Oct 23, 2018,
Oct 23, 2018, 0:42
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal's entourage. The kingdom acknowledged Khashoggi's death on Saturday, saying he was killed in a "fistfight". "There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up".
The €416 million ($479 million/£367 million) of arms exports Germany approved to Saudi Arabia for this year pales in comparison to the arrangement between the U.S. and the kingdom.
The upcoming MENA Cinema Forum to be held October 28 and 29 in Dubai may provide a forum to gauge the impact of Khashoggi's death on the film industry in the region. Saudi Arabia has been trying to claw back global market share, especially as Iran faces new US oil sanctions beginning in November.
As of now, 18 Saudi suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the incident and two senior Saudi officials fired.
Turkey's official news agency says the fiancée of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi has been given 24-hour police protection. "And we are determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder", he said.
But any direct challenge to Prince Mohammed's succession "may be destabilizing for the kingdom as a whole", said Cinzia Bianco, a London-based analyst for Gulf State Analytics.
Britain, France and Germany also urged Saudi Arabia to provide "credible" facts for its explanation about the killing of Khashoggi.
According to the press statements, both King Salman and the crown prince "expressed condolences". An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold.
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Britain joined forces with France and Germany yesterday with a joint statement condemning the killing of journalists as unacceptable.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been at odds over what happened inside the consulate ever since Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi monarchy, disappeared there on October 2.
But if they let Saudi Arabia off the hook, it would leave Trump, once again, up against Merkel, amid already strained transatlantic ties.
On Saturday, the Saudi authorities said that Khashoggi died in the course of a "fight" with agents who were trying to interrogate him in the legation.
Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International UK's arms expert, said: "By backing continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Dominic Raab is wilfully ignoring the risk of these weapons fuelling further human rights violations in Yemen".
President Donald Trump says he needs to learn more about the killing of a Saudi journalist and will be working with Congress on the USA response.
He has twice held telephone talks with King Salman on the crisis, with some analysts arguing Erdogan was seeking to preserve Turkish-Saudi relations through the ageing monarch while sidelining his headstrong son Prince Mohammed.
Speaking to reporters in Berlin on Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the arms freeze and said she will continue working with worldwide allies to coordinate their response to Khashoggi's murder inside a Saudi consulate.