Saudi Critic Vanishes After Visiting Consulate, Prompting Fear And Confusion

08 October, 2018, 02:01 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Blank column in The Washington Post

Major American daily newspaper the Washington Post has printed a blank column in solidarity with prominent Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey's largest city of Istanbul a few days ago.

On Thursday, Turkey's foreign ministry summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Ankara "for consultations" over the critic's disappearance.

The fiancee of writer Jamal Khashoggi, who has been critical of Saudi leadership, said she last saw him Tuesday when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork for their upcoming wedding. "We believe that all the armaments we have from the United States of America are paid for, it's not free armament", he said.

Protesters hold pictures of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 5, 2018.

However, the Arab source that spoke to Al Akhbar said Khashoggi had been taken out of another entrance to the consulate in a white vehicle in coordination with a Turkish security official.

Prince Mohammed downplayed any apparent rift with the United States leader and said relations between the two allies remains strong.

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In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, published on Friday, bin Salman said Saudi Arabia is "very keen to know what happened" to the Saudi citizen, adding "we have nothing to hide".

On Wednesday, Khashoggi's editor at the Post, Karen Attiah, wrote that he was motivated by a "keen desire to demystify Saudi Arabia for a global audience". The woman told reporters that Khashoggi asked her to alert friends if he did not return, apparently anxious about being held there; though it was his second visit to the consulate in weeks for routine paperwork.

Khashoggi's disappearance is not, in and of itself, surprising.

Eight people detained in Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption campaign remain in custody, the kingdom's Crown Prince said, after scores were arrested in a purge launched last November. It's not an opinion of Canada about Saudi Arabia as much as they are giving an order to a different country. Saudi Arabia and Iran are both members of OPEC, yet they're bitterly opposed on political issues and continue to clash in conflicts across the Middle East from Syria to Yemen.

At a rally in MS earlier this week, President Trump bragged about putting his foot down with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and demanding more military spending, following accusations that he and other OPEC nations are "ripping off the rest of the world". In the early 1990s, he tried to persuade bin Laden to reconcile with the Saudi royal family and return home from his base in Sudan, but the al-Qaida leader refused.

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