Riyadh Saturday dismissed Ankara’s calls to extradite 18 Saudis wanted for the murder of critic Jamal Khashoggi, as Washington warned the crisis risked destabilising the Middle East.
“The individuals are Saudi nationals. They’re detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a regional defence forum in Bahrain.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has received official pledges of a six-billion-dollar loan to his country from Saudi Arabia, whose top leadership is involved in an international crisis of credibility over possible involvement in the killing of a Saudi dissident. Saudi Arabia pledged three billion dollars in foreign currency support for a year, and a further loan worth up to another three billion dollars in deferred payments for oil imports, to Pakistan, the Pakistani government announced in a statement on Tuesday.
US President Donald Trump said the Saudis had a “very bad original concept” in killing Jamal Khashoggi, the 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic.
“It was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups. It was a total fiasco. I’m saying they should have never thought about it. Once they thought about it, everything else they did was bad too … It should have never happened.”
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that there were strong signs that the killing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned and that he was killed in a “savage way”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded Saudi Arabia provide answers about where Jamal Khashoggi’s body was and who ordered the operation.
The report by Yeni Safak on Monday said Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage on trips to the United States, France and Spain this year, made the calls from the consulate. The newspaper said the four calls went to Bader al-Asaker, the head of Prince Mohammed’s office. It said another call went to the United States. That yet again adds to the pressure Saudi Arabia faces over the slaying of the Washington Post columnist.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.
“Why did these 15 people come here? Why were 18 people arrested? All of this needs to be explained in all its details,” Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conceded little ground on issues dividing their countries after meeting Friday, but both leaders stressed the importance of the two NATO allies working together as they sought to improve acrimonious relations.
“With the mutual trust we have for each other, I believe the handing over of (suspects) would make our work easier,” Erdogan said, adding that their return “is important from a security point of view for the peace and welfare of our countries.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Monday to try to come to an agreement over the Syrian rebel stronghold of Idlib. Vladimir Putin said: “We have a lot of issues to discuss, including difficult ones,” Putin said at the start of the talks at his residence in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.