Turkey urges public to ignore Khashoggi case ‘leaks’ as Putin awaits investigation outcome

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the press about his trip to Saudi Arabia after meeting with US President Donald Trump. (AFP)
Updated 18 October 2018
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Turkey urges public to ignore Khashoggi case ‘leaks’ as Putin awaits investigation outcome

  • Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul says case of Jamal Khashoggi is being “thoroughly” investigated
  • Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia would wait for the outcome of that investigation

LONDON: Turkey called on the public to ignore any leaked  information in the case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Al-Arabiya English reported Thursday.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul also said that the case of Jamal Khashoggi is being “thoroughly” investigated and “results are expected to come out soon.”

The call came after a flurry of leaks to Turkish and Western media claiming to say what happened to the Saudi journalist.

Vladimir Putin added his voice on Thursday to international calls not to rush to conclusions. The Russian president said his country would wait for the outcome of the investigation before deciding what impact it may have on Russia's relations with Saudi Arabia.
"Those who believe that there was a murder must present evidence," the russian president said. "The disappearance was a tragedy, but we need to understand what happened."
Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saudi Arabia had assured him "they will conduct a complete, thorough investigation of all the facts."

Pompeo, who had just reported to President Donald Trump after traveling to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, told journalists that the United States would give the Kingdom "a few more days" to work on the investigation.
Trump had said he would not make any decisions about the case until Pompeo reported back from his talks in Riyadh and Ankara earlier this week.
"I told President Trump this morning we ought to give them a few more days to complete that so that we, too, have a complete understanding of the facts surrounding that, at which point we can make decisions how or if the United States should respond to the incident surrounding Mr Khashoggi," Pompeo said.
He restated the importance of Saudi Arabia as a partner to the United States and it position in the region.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman, previously addressed the “malicious leaks and grim rumors flying around about Jamal’s whereabouts and fate” last week. Prince Khalid said rumors that the “Kingdom’s authorities have detained” Khashoggi or “killed him are absolutely false, and baseless.”
Donald Trump criticized on Tuesday the rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi, and warned against a rush to judge. “I think we have to find out what happened first,” he said.
After a telephone conversation with King Salman on Monday in which the US president discussed the joint investigation by the Kingdom and Turkey into Khashoggi’s disappearance, Trump said that the Saudi journalist may have been killed by “rogue killers.”


Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

Pro-government drive in an industrial district in the eastern outskirts of the port city Hodeidah. (AFP)
Updated 19 November 2018
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Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

  • Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday
  • UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week

SANAA: Iran-backed Houthi militias have said they are ready to mobilize more fighters to the frontline despite a lull in battleground Hodeidah, as the UN envoy prepares to visit the country to boost peace efforts.

Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday, apparently getting ready to head toward Hodeidah, a Red Sea city home to a vital port.

Men, some of whom looked very young, were lining up with bandoliers around their shoulders and rifles in their hands, chanting Houthi slogans.

Residents said on Sunday that relative calm had held in Hodeidah city since pro-government forces announced a pause in their offensive last week amid international calls for a cease-fire and UN-led peace efforts.  They added, however, that they remain on edge.

Meanwhile, coalition fighter jets on Sunday carried out a series of strikes targeting Houthi positions west of Marib. The strikes, which were accompanied by shelling, came after the Iranian-supported militia launched ballistic missiles toward the city of Marib. Coalition forces successfully intercepted the missiles, Yemeni army media said.

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week to finalize arrangements for peace talks to take place in Sweden soon.

Hameed Assem, a member of the militia delegation expected to take part in the negotiations, said that Houthis will continue to mobilize if UN efforts for peace fail to materialize.

Pro-government forces on Wednesday suspended their 12-day offensive in Hodeidah.

Griffiths said on Friday that both the government and the Houthis have shown a “renewed commitment” to work on a political solution and have given “firm assurances” that they will attend the talks. No date has yet been set.

(AFP)