‘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

‘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.


Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

  • Presence of 2.6 million Indian expats in Saudi Arabia boosts bilateral ties

On the occasion of India’s 71st Republic Day, I extend my best wishes to my fellow Indian citizens in the western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations which reflect centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties.
Visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and in October 2019 plus the exchanges of other high-level visits have further strengthened the warm relations between the two countries.
As our prime minister said during his visit in October 2019, India would work hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.  
The presence of over 2.6 million Indian expatriates in the Kingdom has also contributed immensely to the strength of economic and socio-cultural ties between our two nations.
Bilateral trade delegations have also increased in the last few years. Indian business delegations are now a regular feature of trade exhibitions in Jeddah and other parts of the Kingdom. The Indian Consulate in Jeddah works tirelessly and diligently to provide the best possible service to Indian nationals residing in the western region of the Kingdom.
This good service includes reducing to three working days the length of time required for issuing/reissuing passports.
The introduction of an e-visa facility for Saudi nationals has further streamlined visa processing and provides a smooth first step for those wanting to visit India.
The Indian government and the people of India are grateful to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hajj Minister Dr. Mohammed Benten for making excellent arrangements during Hajj 2019. In that year, 200,000 Indian nationals performed Hajj and more than 650,000 Indians came for Umrah.
The Indian side remains committed to partnering closely with Saudi Arabia and working toward a very successful Hajj 2020.
We sincerely express our gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi ministries of foreign affairs, labor, interior and the authorities of Jawazat, Tarheel and other concerned agencies who have always provided exemplary assistance to the consulate which has enabled the comfortable stay of the many Indians visiting, living, and working in the Kingdom.


• Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh is India’s consul general in Jeddah.