‘Rogue killers’ may be behind Khashoggi disappearance, Trump says

A Turkish forensic police officer works in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 15, 2018 during the investigation over missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. US President Donald Trump has floated the idea that "rogue killers" could be to blame for his disappearance. (AFP / Bulent Kilic)
Updated 16 October 2018
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‘Rogue killers’ may be behind Khashoggi disappearance, Trump says

  • US Secretary of State Pompeo sent to Riyadh for talks after Saudi king and US president discuss case by phone
  • Pompeo will then visit Turkey after his trip to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: “Rogue killers” may have been behind the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US President Donald Trump said on Monday. 

Khashoggi, a US resident, vanished after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago to obtain paperwork related to his divorce.

Trump spoke on Monday after a telephone conversation with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, in which the two leaders discussed the joint investigation by the Kingdom and Turkey into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“It sounded to me, maybe these could have been rogue killers,” the president said.

Trump has dispatched US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to discuss the case with King Salman. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Trump was sending Pompeo to Riyadh because “determining what happened to Jamal Khashoggi is something of great importance to the president.”

King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone on Sunday evening and stressed the importance of the two countries creating a joint group as part of the inquiry into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

A joint team of investigators visited the Istanbul consulate late on Monday to conduct an inspection.

Since Oct. 2, when Khashoggi disappeared, Turkish media have published lurid rumors that he was murdered. Saudi Arabia has vehemently denied involvement in the disappearance, and no one has produced any evidence of wrongdoing.

Despite the absence of evidence, the case has provoked worldwide media frenzy — much of it based on questionable assumptions and pure fiction, an Arab News investigation into media coverage has found.

They include a “fiancée” unknown to the missing man’s family; an Apple Watch with questionable powers; an incorrect birth date; and a photo of an alleged Saudi “hit squad” that was actually taken five years ago. In addition, since Khashoggi disappeared more than 160 of his tweets have been deleted, raising questions about who is managing his Twitter account.


Princess Reema meets US treasury chief Steven Mnuchin

Updated 18 July 2019
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Princess Reema meets US treasury chief Steven Mnuchin

DUBAI: Newly appointed Saudi Ambassador to the United States Princess Reema bint Bandar met with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss opportunities to further strengthen the countries’ partnership.

The Saudi Arabian embassy in the US, in a tweet, said the two senior officials explored “ways to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s close partnership with the United States on countering the financing of terrorism, as well as US support for the Kingdom’s economic reforms.”

 

 

Princess Reema, who assumed her new office on July 4, earlier met with US President Donald Trump to present her credentials as the Kingdom’s top diplomat in Washington.

Princess Reema became the Kingdom’s first female ambassador after being nominated to the post on February 23 – to replace Prince Khaled bin Salman who was appointed deputy defense minister – and took her oath before King Salman in Riyadh in April.