Spanish minister seeks inquiry into missing Saudi journalist

Cheryl Sanders
October 19, 2018

President Donald Trump suggested Monday that "rogue killers" could be responsible for the mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an explanation offering US ally Saudi Arabia a possible path out of a global diplomatic firestorm.

On Monday, President Donald Trump suggested "rogue killers" could be behind Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

The head of the biggest American bank is backing out of a high-profile financial conference hosted by Saudi Arabia as criticism of the kingdom mounts over its possible role in the disappearance of a journalist. U.S. intelligence officials have reported they are certain the interference took place in an effort to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign. "Maybe I don't want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers - I mean, who knows?" "We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment", Trump said.

Donald Trump (R) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud pictured on May 20, 2017 in Riyadh on the United States president's first foreign trip.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Riyadh today, the State Department said, adding that 'the president has called for a prompt and open investigation'. Turkish officials have said they believe he was killed - a claim Saudi Arabia has denied - with the controversy dealing a huge blow to the kingdom's image and efforts by its youthful crown prince to showcase a reform drive.

He is even due to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh next week, alongside leading bankers and investors based around the globe. Saudi Arabia has denied that. "He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer".

Trump then said that the Saudi government's denial "could not have been stronger".

The case has caused friction between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which repeatedly accused the Saudis of failing to cooperate with their investigation.

Saudi Arabia may pay a heavy diplomatic and financial price for the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial worldwide commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death", they said in the statement.

Borrell said a collaborative investigation of Turkish and Saudi authorities was required to clarify the circumstances that led to the journalist's disappearance, Efe news reported.

Khashoggi wrote columns in the Washington Post that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Rubio said U.S. -Saudi relations may need to be "completely revised" and stressed the U.S. would lose credibility on human rights if the Trump administration remained silent.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia work together on some common issues and share business interests, but also have a good deal of political bad blood. Rubio said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should also withdraw, but White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the Treasury chief is still planning to go.

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