Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Corker Calls for U.S. Sanctions If Saudi Arabia Killed Khashoggi

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US President Donald Trump on Wednesday demanded Saudi Arabia provide answers over the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Turkey can not remain silent over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday, adding Turkey is investigating all aspects of the case.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump appeared reluctant to consider blocking arms sales to the Kingdom over the disappearance, citing economic reasons.

Alfakeeh added that the US government will use the incident to further economic benefits and blackmail Saudi Arabia.

"We want to find out what happened", Trump said.

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are allies of the United States.

"The Saudis have a lot of explaining to do because all indications are that they have been involved at minimum with his disappearance", Corker told The Associated Press. The security establishment concluded that Khashoggi's killing was directed from the top because only the most senior Saudi leaders could order an operation of such scale and complexity.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that USA intelligence services were aware of Saudi Arabia's plans to capture Khashoggi. We can't let it happen.

She had been waiting outside the consulate when her Khashoggi went inside.

Turkish authorities have said he was killed by members of an elite Saudi "assassination squad", an allegation the Saudi government has dismissed.

He said the USA is expecting a report on what happened to the journalist, who was last seen on 2 October when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve paperwork.

The lawmakers signed a letter demanding a human rights probe into the Khashoggi case, the Saudi journalist who went missing last week during a visit to his country's consulate in Turkey.


He is seen on the video entering the consulate, while his fiancée waited outside.

Turkish officials said they suspect the Washington Post contributor was killed at the Saudi Consulate and that his body was later removed from the building.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has also spoken out on the Khashoggi case, saying that if reports of his murder are true, it should "represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia".

"This is a step that we are taking that we can take unilaterally that is a forcing mechanism and it does mean that in a serious way an investigation has to take place".

TRT World also obtained footage showing Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate on October 2.

On Wednesday, Corker and almost every member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee asked President Donald Trump to investigate Khashoggi's disappearance and consider placing sanctions on Saudi Arabia if it is found to have killed him.

Security camera footage released on Wednesday by Turkish television showed a man believed to be Khashoggi enter the consulate.

One is a forensic expert who has worked at the Saudi Interior Ministry for 20 years, according to a LinkedIn profile. But this is not simply one side's word against the other.

Bob Corker, a Republican Senator who chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Thursday that "significant sanctions" would have to be imposed at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government if Khashoggi was the victim of a state-sponsored killing, AP reported.

"Therefore, we request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act with respect to any foreign person responsible for such a violation related to Mr. Khashoggi".

The incident has been largely absent from Saudi media, but on Thursday Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al Awsat cited an unnamed source who said the kingdom was being targeted by "those who try to exploit the reality of the disappearance".

On the other hand, a "source close to the royal family" told the UK Daily Mail Khashoggi is alive and was successfully transported to Saudi Arabia.

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