The disappearance of USA resident Jamal Khashoggi after visiting a Saudi consulate in Turkey has thrust the Trump administration's large number of diplomatic vacancies back into the spotlight. The kingdom has called the allegations "baseless".
President Donald Trump revealed that First Lady Melania Trump has joined the effort to "get to the bottom" of what happened to missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "It has to prove that Jamal wasn't oppressed at the consulate and that he left safely".
Accusations the Saudi leadership directly ordered the alleged assassination of Khashoggi will put further pressure on the United States and other allies to demand a transparent investigation, with possible serious repercussions to bilateral relations if it does not come to fruition.
Saudi Arabia's crown prince and de facto ruler ordered an operation targeting journalist and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing for more than a week, The Washington Post reported Wednesday citing U.S. intelligence intercepts.
At 5:32 p.m., cameras show Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, outside the police barricades of the consulate, speaking into her cellphone.
Saudi Arabia is keen to find out the whole truth about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared following his departure from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2.
The newspaper's editor placed a note at the end of the article saying: "An earlier version of this article included details about several Saudis named by Turkish officials in the case that had not been independently corroborated by The New York Times". It was not clear whether the Saudis meant to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, this person said.
The Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of the group that were apparently taken at passport control at the airport. Some have been incredulous at its denials of wrongdoing and contention it has no recorded video footage from the consulate showing Khashoggi, who had been living in self-exile in Virginia for the past year.
In a statement, the SNPM voiced deep concern over Khashoggi's disappearance after entering the Saudi Consulate, calling on Moroccan journalists to join a planned rally outside the Saudi Embassy in Rabat on October 25 to pile pressure for knowing the fate of the veteran journalist.
Meanwhile, there was a clear and growing disconnect between many in Congress, who want tougher action, and the president. However, a number of closed-circuit surveillance cameras surround the area. "Kushner", he said, "should ask his friend Mohamed bin Salman what happened to Jamal Khashoggi". The Saudis denied any involvement despite the mounting evidence suggesting that they were indeed involved.
Khashoggi had left his phones with her before entering and told her to wait outside and alert the authorities if he did not return.
Graham on Wednesday noted that he has "been very supportive of Saudi Arabia" in the past.
Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince, who has also presided over a roundup of activists and businessmen. Spokesman Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva that it would be "truly shocking" if reports of his death are confirmed.
Sen. Bob Corker says he has reviewed USA intelligence reports on the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist and critic and "everything" points to involvement by the government of Saudi Arabia.
Trump, who took his first overseas trip as US president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi.
"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.
Cavusoglu spoke to reporters during a visit to London, after a delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey for a joint investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance. In a sign of growing intern.