French finance minister cancels trip to Saudi conference

Erika Holt
October 19, 2018

Yesterday, on his way back from Istanbul, Pompeo was asked if he had heard the audio.

Among the group was a leading coroner and other security officials, who Turkish intelligence alleged are linked to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian citizen with USA residency, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get paperwork needed to marry his fiancee.

Senior executives of major Western corporations will still attend Saudi Arabia's business forum despite the growing scandal over the disappearance and alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Liam Fox, the worldwide trade secretary, has pulled out of next week's "Davos in the Desert" summit in Riyadh amid allegations that Saudi Arabia murdered Jamal Khashoggi, the missing journalist.

'It certainly looks that way to me. According to a Turkish daily newspaper, which claimed it had obtained tapes from the consulate, Khashoggi was tortured and had his fingers cut off during interrogation and then decapitated.

Saudi Arabia has denied allegations by Turkish officials who have said Khashoggi was killed inside the building and his body removed. "But we'll see what happens".

Turkish authorities say he was killed and dismembered.

But the Middle East Eye website quoted a Turkish source saying that there was no attempt to interrogate Khashoggi but the Saudi team had come to kill him.

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"It is what's required in the short term, taking account of the gravity of the facts, in the absence of (Saudi) clarification", he said, after French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire confirmed he was staying away from Riyadh.

USA media outlets have reported that Riyadh, despite its earlier denials of involvement, will acknowledge that Khashoggi was killed in a botched interrogation.

Pompeo met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in the city of Ankara on Wednesday morning.

Saudi Arabia says it says it will disclose the results of its investigation into his disappearance.

Repeatedly giving the Saudi royals the benefit of the doubt, Trump and top officials have instead stressed that the U.S. -Saudi relationship is too important to put at risk.

The U.S. has long relied on Saudi Arabia as a regional counterbalance to Iran, overlooking a track record of human rights abuses in the kingdom, as well as ongoing bombing in civilian areas of Yemen.

The footage is believed to be a key piece of evidence connecting Khashoggi's disappearance - and likely death - to Crown Prince Mohammed.

Khashoggi has been missing since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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