US Urges Saudis to Reveal Location of Slain Journalist's Body

Perspectives Leon Levy

Mohammed bin Salman 'told White House' Khashoggi was a dangerous Islamist

Turkey's justice minister on Thursday said the country wants Saudi authorities to reveal the whereabouts of the body of the murdered journalist, who was killed last month in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

During the call with President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and National Security Adviser John Bolton, Prince Mohammed said Khashoggi had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Islamist organisation, the Washington Post reported.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has met with a delegation of pro-Israeli advocates in Riyadh amid reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the U.S. to keep supporting the young prince against worldwide criticism.

According to The Washington Post, Netanyahu has specifically told the White House that the crown prince is a key strategic partner and a linchpin of the US-Israeli front against Iran's regional influence.

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One Israeli official said, "Saudi Arabia is a very important state in the region, and Israel and other nations have a major interest in ensuring its continued stability". Imagine what would happen if Saudi Arabia were destabilized.

Saudi Arabia previously said that his intact remains had been wrapped in a rug and disposed of by a still-unidentified "local collaborator", although attorney general Saud al-Mojeb walked back that claim in talks with Istanbul's chief prosecutor this week. On Wednesday, Switzerland announced it was suspending arms exports to Saudi over Khashoggi's killing. He denied such claims repeatedly over the past several years.

"Jamal Khashoggi was not a risky person in any way possible".

US State Department spokesman Robert Palladino on Thursday called for Khashoggi's remains to be located and returned to his family for burial as soon as possible. He entered the consulate to sort out documents for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

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Turkey, for its part, said Khashoggi was strangled the moment he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the city's chief prosecutor said on Wednesday, adding that it was a premeditated murder.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia alongside the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar, which they accuse of supporting terrorism, including the Muslim Brotherhood group.

Pompeo told a local radio station in St Louis that the USA had "deep and long-term strategic relationships" with Saudi Arabia and said "we intend to make sure that those relationships remain intact".

"The Trump administration has taken a position that is devoid of moral foundation", she wrote, adding that "there will be no cover-up".

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In the meantime, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said the suspects should be punished in accordance with the law. There are 112 candidates, of whom 12% are women, for Kandahar's 11 parliamentary seats, the IEC said.

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