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.”


Divided Arab economic summit: We must help suffering refugees

Updated 21 January 2019
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Divided Arab economic summit: We must help suffering refugees

  • Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil called for 'effective solutions' for the return of Syrian refugees to their country
  • Summit also called for dialogue over growing tensions between Israel and Palestine

BEIRUT: The fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit was held in Beirut on Sunday, in an effort to, among other things, find ways to alleviate the suffering of refugees in the Middle East.

The summit, though attended by representatives from 20 Arab nations, was soured by the absence of most Arab heads of state, and was divided over several issues, including the absence of Syrian delegates, and a boycott by Libya.

The summit did, though, call for dialogue with the international community over growing tensions between Israel and Palestine.

Delegates expressed their support for the Palestinian people, and cited the “collective responsibility” of all parties towards maintaining the city of Jerusalem’s “Islamic and Christian identity.”

In a statement, the summit declared: “We reiterate Palestinian refugees’ rights of return and compensation, according to the UN General Assembly’s resolution 194 of 1948.”

Delegates also discussed at great length the need for international cooperation to support the growing digital economy across the region. They emphasized “the importance of building the necessary capacity” to benefit from the digital economy, and praised the initiative launched by the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to create a sovereign investment fund to support the development of technology in the Gulf and the Middle East.

They urged all Arab nations to “support this initiative to strengthen the joint Arab economy,” and called on other Arab banks and funds to invest in it.

The summit also praised the role of small and medium businesses across the Arab world for their contribution to flourishing Arab economies, as well as the implementation of the Pan-Arab Renewable Energy Strategy 2030, to ensure power across the region becomes cleaner and more sustainable.

The summit was far from harmonious, though, with the Lebanese foreign minister, Gebran Bassil, addressing the hall to ask the international community “to assume its responsibilities by finding effective solutions for the return of Syrian refugees to their country.”

Bassil called on Arab nations and others to “shoulder the burden, honor their commitments and meet the refugees’ needs.”

There were also disputes over the attendance of the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, as well as the boycott by Libyan delegates.

“I am saddened because of the absence of the Libyan delegation, and by the circumstances that led to this point,” Arab League president, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said.

Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, echoed the words of his foreign minister, calling on the international community “to exert all efforts to provide the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country, and to present incentives so they can contribute to their country’s reconstruction.”

He proposed the establishment of an international Arab bank to help affected countries overcome the crisis, and invited established Arab funds to Beirut to discuss his proposals.

“I deplore the absence of other Arab presidents and kings, but each of them has his reason. Our union remains of great importance given that we will not be able to address the challenges facing our region and peoples, unless we agree on key issues,” Aoun said.

The next Arab Economic and Social Development Summit will be held in Mauritania in 2023.