Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Supporters of missing Saudi journalist rally outside Saudi embassy in Turkey

Supporters of missing Saudi journalist rally outside Saudi embassy in Turkey

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman praised his relationship with Donald Trump after the USA president told supporters he had warned the king he would not last in power "for two weeks" without United States military backing.

On Thursday, Turkey's foreign ministry summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Ankara "for consultations" over the critic's disappearance.

Saudi and Turkish officials have made conflicting statements on the whereabouts of Khashoggi, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since he fled the kingdom in September 2017.

"The burden of proof is on Saudi Arabia to produce evidence for its claim that Khashoggi left the consulate alone, and that Saudi agents have not detained him", said Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson.

"The consulate confirmed that it is carrying out follow-up procedures and coordination with the Turkish local authorities to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he left the consulate building", the statement said, without elaborating.

"Here we are trying to get rid of extremism and terrorism without civil war, without stopping the country from growing, with continuous progress in all elements", the crown prince claimed. "Until otherwise demonstrated, he is still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the Saudi authorities are responsible for his safety and well-being", she said in a statement.

"According to the information we have, this person who is a Saudi citizen is still at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul". On Wednesday the state department urged OPEC to tap its reserve supplies.

The journalist was recently reported to have disappeared in Turkey's Istanbul after entering the Saudi Consulate. Saudi Arabia is a large country with particular significance for the Islamic world. As a Post contributor, he frequently covered the Saudi regime's repressive tactics, and was particularly critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a self-styled reformer who has arrested rivals and dissidents. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

He has 1.6 million followers on Twitter and has the benefit of having once had intimate access both to the ruling family and to Osama bin Laden at different times in his life. "Saudi Arabia buys weapons from America and does not take them for free".

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, has accused Trump of orchestrating the oil price rally by imposing sanctions on Tehran and accused its regional archrival Saudi Arabia of bowing to US pressure.

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