Economy

USA and United Kingdom ministers boycott Saudi summit amid journo's case

USA and United Kingdom ministers boycott Saudi summit amid journo's case”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday said he would no longer attend next week's investment conference in Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Karen Attiah, the global opinions editor at The Washington Post, who published a note to Khashoggi's last article, said she received this piece from the translator a day after the columnist disappeared.

"The [Washington] Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. You are going to get me in trouble".

Following a search by a Turkish forensics team, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that some "toxic materials" in the consulate had been "painted over".

His comments followed publication in pro-government Turkish media of allegations purporting to confirm that Khashoggi was not just murdered by Saudi agents in their consulate in Istanbul, but dismembered.

The newspaper said it gathered more information about the suspects through facial recognition software, a database of Saudi cellphone numbers, leaked Saudi government documents, witnesses and media.

Saudi leadership has denied any involvement.

However, Saudi Arabia says reports on Mr Khashoggi's death are "completely false and baseless" and that it is "open to co-operation" to find out what happened. "If it exists we have asked for it", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Britain, France and Germany had also called on the Saudi and Turkish authorities to mount a "credible investigation" into the disappearance of Khashoggi, saying they were treating the incident with "utmost seriousness". "More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices".

He returned to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday before Turkish police searched his residence.

After returning from talks in Riyadh and Istanbul, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said answers were needed and "sooner is better than later for everyone".

Khashoggi spoke of the peril that journalists who dare to criticize their governments face under an autocratic system, a reality that Khashoggi said was not likely to change and one that ultimately appears to have cost him his life.

Mr Trump, who has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and the 33-year-old crown prince, said the United States has asked Turkey for any audio or video evidence. Pompeo was criticized on social media for images from his meetings with Saudi officials that showed him smiling broadly.

Mr Mutreb, perhaps a bodyguard, has been photographed emerging from planes with Prince Mohammed on recent trips to Madrid and Paris, the newspaper reported.

International Development Secretary Liam Fox is pulling out of an international investment conference in Saudi Arabia amid concerns over the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

His demand came as he expressed support for Saudi Arabia, a long-time US ally, and said he expects its investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance would be completed by the end of the week.



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