Elliott Abrams: Saudi 'Death Blow' to Relations With US

Elliott Abrams: Saudi 'Death Blow' to Relations With US

Elliott Abrams: Saudi 'Death Blow' to Relations With US

Trump made Saudi Arabia the first stop on his first foreign trip as president in May 2017, but in recent weeks has appeared to sour a bit on Riyadh, complaining directly to King Salman about the cost of American support for the Saudi military and for OPEC oil price increases.

A Turkish official, speaking anonymously and without providing evidence, said earlier this week that Khashoggi, a Global Opinions section columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the consulate, a claim the Saudi government has vehemently denied. Turkish sources believe he was tortured, killed and dismembered.

Turkish investigators say CCTV footage shows the moment he entered the consulate, and that he never exited.

No security footage has been released showing the journalist leaving the premises. Saudi officials have said Khashoggi is not in the building, yet they have not been able to back their claim with security camera footage, as they said the cameras were not working that day. About two hours later, a black Mercedes van with diplomatic plates leaves the consulate to the Saudi consul general's residence.

Aksam newspaper's editor-in-chief Murat Kelkitlioglu speculated on 24 TV that it was "almost certain" that Khashoggi had been taken in the vehicle.

TV channels broadcast videos of what they said were the men arriving at the airport and checking into hotels, as well as footage of auto traffic outside the consulate before and after Khashoggi's disappearance, including a black van with blacked out windows that the police find suspicious.

Sabah published the names and images of what it called the "assassination team".

The Trump administration has been criticized for not taking a firmer stance against Saudi Arabia and its leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has vigorously campaigned to convince other nations of its progressive reforms. An expert on forensic evidence, he is known to have trained police officers in crime scene investigation.

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage. I know what everybody else does: "nothing".

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Saudi Arabia insists that he left less than an hour after arriving at the consulate. Intelligence reports, largely sourced from the United States, suggest Bin Salman had been seeking to lure Khashoggi back to Riyadh. 'After the consulate, we were going to buy appliances for our new home and set a date. All we needed was a piece of paper.

He added that the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis have said that concrete steps will be taken in the coming days.

Turkish officials fear the team killed Khashoggi, who has been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his writing.

'He was, however, increasingly anxious about an unprecedented wave of arrests in his country'.

Kushner and Prince Mohammed have had private, one-on-one phone calls that were not always set up through normal channels so the conversations could be memorialized - preserved via a written synopsis of what was said right after the conversation ended - and Kushner could be properly briefed.

Bird has also called on the trustees of the Natural History Museum in London not to provide the museum as a venue for the Saudi Arabia annual national day celebration, organised by the Saudi embassy, and called for a protest outside the building.

She went in to ask where he was but was told he had left without her noticing.

"If the Saudi government sent a bunch of people to kill him and chop him up and then they left, if that's what happened, I'm telling you what's gonna happen on Capitol Hill is a complete revolt against our policies with Saudi Arabia, ' said Rubio, adding that would be "unfortunate" because the Saudis are important partners when it comes to "containing" Iran's influence".

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