International threats rumble over missing Saudi journalist
by Harvest Prude
Posted 10/15/18, 11:37 am
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump said Monday he will send Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is believed to have been murdered by Saudi government operatives. Trump tweeted Monday that he spoke with the king and Saudi Arabia hasn’t backed down from denying all involvement in the suspected killing.
Khashoggi, a Saudi national living in self-imposed exile in Washington, D.C., wrote columns for The Washington Post critical of Saudi policies and actions under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He disappeared Oct. 2 after walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage. Turkish authorities told the United States they believe a team of assassins killed Khashoggi at the consulate and smuggled away his dismembered body. According to U.S. intelligence sources, Crown Prince Mohammed himself ordered the operation, The Post reported Wednesday. A joint team of Turkish and Saudi officials will inspect the Istanbul consulate Monday for clues about the journalist’s disappearance.
Last week, a bipartisan group of more than 20 U.S. senators asked the president to investigate Khashoggi’s alleged killing and urged sanctions against Saudi Arabia for human rights violations. Trump said pulling back from arms sales would punish the United States economically but warned that Saudi Arabia deserved “severe punishment” if it was responsible for the suspected murder. The Saudis fired back Sunday that they will respond to threats with tough measures of their own. Meanwhile, the Saudi stock market has plunged 9 percent since Khashoggi’s disappearance.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.