Friday, 16 November, 2018

Mike Pompeo to arrive in Saudi to meet King Salman

Saudi Arabia government pledges ‘greater action’ if US retaliates for Khashoggi disappearance Saudi Arabia told to investigate disappearance of missing journalist
Cristina Norman | 16 October, 2018, 13:54

Officially, Saudi Arabia has insisted that the journalist left its consulate, but so far has not been able to give any proof of it. Trump, who has warned Saudi Arabia of severe consequences, has dispatched his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for talks with the Saudi leader.

Mr Khashoggi, who was a critic of the Saudi regime, hasn't been seen since he went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul almost two weeks ago.

Following a call with Saudi King Salman ー who vehemently denied any involvement in Khashoggi's suspected abduction ー Trump suggested to reporters on Monday that the kingdom may not be culpable.

October 11: The Washington Post, which Khashoggi writes for, reports the Turkish government told US officials that it had audio and video recordings proving Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. "He didn't really know, maybe - I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me - maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Since self-exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul this month and vanished, his case has sparked global intrigue and outrage and put leaders of his homeland on the defensive.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund negotiated a minority stake in Endeavor worth 345 million euros in March as powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pushed for a foothold in the entertainment industry.

Saudi Arabia was preparing an alternative explanation of the fate of a dissident journalist on Monday, saying he died at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago in an interrogation gone wrong, according to a person familiar with the kingdom's plans.

Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents but Riyadh has always strongly denied this.

The issue has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with its closest Western allies.

"Yes, we have a problem with Israel, but it's a political problem", Khashoggi told the Post at a 2007 Capitol Hill reception condemning antisemitism, when he was part of the diplomatic corp of Prince Turki Al Faisal, then Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

The 58-year-old journalist and Washington Post contributor has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate to gather documents for marriage last week.

Officially entitled the Future Finance Initiative, the Saudi conference describes itself as an "international platform for expert-led debate between investors, innovators and governments as well as economic leaders".

"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russian Federation or they're going to buy it from China", he said. His fiancee, friends and Turkish authorities have said he did not leave the building.

Mr Khashoggi appeared regularly on Arab talk shows and moved to Washington previous year.

The Saudi riyal, rebounded early after falling to its lowest in two years over fears that foreign investment could shrink. Several organisations and individuals have announced that they will not attend the mega summit in Saudi Arabia as a mark of protest.

Concern over Khashoggi's disappearance has prompted media organizations and a growing number of guests to pull out of a "Davos in the Desert" investment conference set for October 23-25, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Prince Mohammed's reform vision.

The Uber investment was the PIF's first major deal in the technology start-up market, signaling its shift in strategy toward more aggressive and eye-catching foreign investments.

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