Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Saudi considers admitting Khashoggi died in botched op

Saudi considers admitting Khashoggi died in botched op

The unexplained disappearance from the Saudi embassy in Istanbul of prominent Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi remained in the headlines as Saudi King Salman ordered an internal probe into the case.

Ankara had previously said a working group would be set up in line with a Saudi proposal.

But in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance, many media and entertainment companies have been distancing themselves from the kingdom.

The US President today said he has spoken to Saudi Arabia's King Salman about the incident, suggesting that "rogue killers" could be responsible. And questions continue to swirl about his disappearance.

The press agency also released a statement of support from the government of Yemen, which Saudi Arabia is supporting in a protracted war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Middle East's most impoverished country.

Concern over Khashoggi's disappearance has seen media organizations and a growing number of guests pull out of a "Davos in the Desert" investment conference set for October 23-25, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Prince Mohammed's reform vision.

"And princesses, fleeing Saudi Arabia", Alhadj said.

Trump tweets, "Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened 'to our Saudi Arabian citizen'".

The Saudi foreign ministry said King Salman affirmed his country's "solid" relations with Turkey in the phone call with Erdogan, stressing that no one could undermine their relationship.

Uber declined to comment.

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Khashoggi's fate has troubled Washington and Saudi Arabia's other traditional Western allies.

Saudi Arabia has denied the allegations.

With Trump now appearing to buy into theories about "rogue killers" being responsible, even while Ankara claims it possesses strong evidence of Riyadh's guilt, it seems certain that anyone expecting a strong United States response to Khashoggi's disappearance would be well advised to lower their expectations now.

"It will be the task of political advisors and strategists to prevent Trump from causing damage to the US-Saudi relationship", he added.

Similar campaigns have been trending on social media in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, although there has been no official backing so far.

The head of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, is one of the latest high-profile executives to pull out.

Turkish police have audio showing Khashoggi was killed at the consulate, sources told Reuters.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to the United States a year ago fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

Saudi Arabia had earlier denied killing Khashoggi and denounced such assertions as "lies", saying he left the building shortly after entering.

"We're developing a defence export industry and the government is putting up [billions] of dollars in public subsidies to get that off the ground, and guess who we are exporting these arms to?"

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