Saudi Reporters Arrested In Past Year

Khashoggi case should not be politicized, says UN expert

Meanwhile, Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin told state-run news agency Anadolu that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have agreed to form a joint working group to look into what happened. Those reported details, along with comments from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appeared aimed at gradually pressuring Saudi Arabia to reveal what happened while also balancing a need to maintain Saudi investments in Turkey and relations on other issues.

The lawmakers signed a letter demanding a human rights probe into the Khashoggi case, the Saudi journalist who went missing last week during a visit to his country's consulate in Turkey.

Riyadh has insisted Mr Khashoggi, 59, left the building alive and murder claims are "baseless".

Mr Khashoggi had gone to the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get paperwork he needed for his upcoming marriage while his Turkish fiancee waited outside.

The crisis has heightened tensions among already-wary regional powers, and could also loosen the close - but complex - ties forged between Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and Trump, who said Thursday he wanted to get to the bottom of the Khashoggi mystery, too. Spending more than a year in self-imposed exile in the United States - away from his country, his family and his loved ones - had taken a toll on him. "We continue to call for a transparent investigation, and we're going to continue to monitor this situation", the State Department said on Wednesday.

Graham also drew a distinction between reacting to Khashoggi's death with economic sanctions and curtailing U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia or limiting United States military support for the war in Yemen. "We don't know what happened yet". These leaks, largely matching across Turkey's state-run media and private Erdogan-linked outlets, likely come from the country's security services as another means to pressure the kingdom over Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance.

Trump told reporters a day earlier that he had raised Khashoggi's case with Saudi Arabia "at the highest level" and a couple of times in recent days, and said he and his wife expect to invite Cengiz to the White House soon.

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi, a critic of Salman who has been living in self-imposed exile in the US, was murdered October 2 inside the consulate when he went there to pick up documents to allow him to marry Cengiz, a Turkish national, or perhaps spirited away to Riyadh. Local media described the Saudis being military and intelligence officers, as well as several "royal guards".

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Turkish officials have alleged he was killed in the compound while Saudis officials said he left the building unharmed. He said his future involvement on the board "will depend on learning all the facts" about Khashoggi's disappearance.

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Turkish media on Wednesday published the identities of 15 members of an alleged hit team sent to kill Khashoggi, including what was said to be a top Saudi a forensic official.

"People who have long thought of themselves as Saudi's friends are saying this is a very, very serious matter", he said.

He has also repeatedly assailed Riyadh's role leading the war against Yemen's rebel Houthis, a campaign closely identified with Prince Mohammed that has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and generated a major humanitarian disaster.

Since 2009, the executive branch has notified Congress of proposed foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia of major defense articles and services with a potential aggregate value of almost $139 billion, according to a Congressional Research Service report. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is now scheduled to attend the event. "We called a few other places, but they said, 'We have evidence he was killed in a barbaric way, we will announce it tomorrow or the day after'".

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he spoke with the Saudi leadership "at the highest level" regarding the fate of the missing journalist.

It is said some of the men went into the Saudi consulate before Mr Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia is a very rich country.

The Saudi government asserted that Khashoggi left the premises shortly after his visit.

Hatice Cengiz made the appeal in an opinion piece for The Washington Post newspaper, where Khashoggi was a columnist and an outspoken critic of some of Riyadh's policies.

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