Mattis Says Khashoggi Killing Could Destabilize Middle East

Hannah Rogers
October 28, 2018

Saudi journalist Khashoggi, 59, who had lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017, was murdered after entering his country's Istanbul consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee.

The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor critical of Riyadh, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 has sparked global backlash against the kingdom.

"Unfortunately, there has been this hysteria in the media about Saudi Arabia's guilt before the investigation is completed", he said.

President Vladimir Putin spoke to Saudi King Salman on Thursday, and Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters Friday that the Kremlin accepts the royal family's denial of any role in Khashoggi's killing.

Turkey alleges a 15-member hit squad was sent to Istanbul to kill the journalist, a onetime Saudi insider who became an outspoken critic of Prince Mohammed in columns for The Washington Post.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday that the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi undermined Middle Eastern stability and that Washington would take additional measures against those responsible.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives at the Future Investment Initiative FII conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 24, 2018.

Both agreed "all aspects of the murder" must be made public so that the killers could be held accountable for the crime.

Al-Jubeir said 18 suspects in Khashoggi's death would be tried in Saudi Arabia, rejecting Turkey's demand for them to be extradited. "They will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia".

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At a conference in Riyadh on October 24, the crown prince said the killing was a "heinous crime that can not be justified" and warned against any efforts to "manipulate" the crisis and drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which are regional rivals but also diplomatic and business partners.

In interview with Turkey's Habertürk TV, Cengiz, who is a Turkish national and doctoral student, said of Trump's invitation, "I perceived it as a statement to win public favor".

"And what we say to people is wait until everything is done, then reflect on the results of the investigation, and then make a determination on whether this investigation was serious or not".

Mr Trump has called the case "one of the worst cover-ups in history". Haspel has heard the purported audio that Turkey alleges is of Jamal Khashoggi's killing, two sources have told CBS News.

Bahrain's foreign minister, Shiekh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, told the conference the Gulf bloc would remain a "pillar" of regional security and that a proposed security alliance grouping the United States, Gulf states, Jordan and Egypt would be activated next year.

In response to the killing, Pompeo this week announced moves against 21 Saudis to either revoke their visas or make them ineligible for U.S. visas after the Khashoggi killing.

Speaking in Ankara, Erdogan, who has so far stopped short of directly blaming the Saudi government, called on Riyadh to reveal who ordered the killing and the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body.

Leaders across the globe are facing a moral quandary over the sickening killing, with many buying oil from Saudi Arabia or selling the kingdom arms - and none more so than Donald Trump.

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