International pressure is mounting on Saudi Arabia to clear the cloud and give a comprehensive explanation into the whereabouts of missing dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who had been living in the United States, has been missing since he entered a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Turkish authorities suspect that Khashoggi was abducted and murdered by the Saudis, but Riyadh denies it.
The US government has sought detailed information from Saudi Arabia on this issue.
President Donald Trump tweeted Monday morning that he spoke to Saudi’s King Salman, who denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate.
“He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King,” Trump added.
Just before boarding Air Force One bound to storm-hit Florida and Georgia, Trump raised the possibility of “rogue killers” behind Khashoggi’s disappearance. “The king firmly denied any knowledge of it. … I don’t want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers, who knows? We’ll try getting to the bottom of it very soon. His was a flat denial,” he told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House.
Trump is against the idea of canceling the $110 billion trade deal with America’s key Middle East ally.
The United Kingdom, France and Germany have called for a credible investigation by Riyadh, while a top American Senator demanded action against Saudi Arabia if the country is found to be responsible for the disappearance of the Washington Post columnist.
Foreign Ministers from the UK, France and Germany issued a joint statement on the disappearance of Khashoggi.
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas demanded that light must be shed on the disappearance of Khashoggi, whose family has lost contact with him since October 2.
They called for “a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and – if relevant – to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and ensure that they are held to account.”
In an interview to CNN, Republican Senator Marco Rubio expressed doubt that “he’s dead and the Saudis are the ones who did it”.
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