Order to kill Khashoggi came from top of Saudi government: Turkey's Erdogan

Perspectives Leon Levy

Mohammed bin Salman 'told White House' Khashoggi was a dangerous Islamist

The order to kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi came from the highest level of the Saudi government, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, adding that the worldwide community had the responsibility to "reveal the puppet masters" behind the slaying.

Nauert noted in a statement the State Department's revocation of visas for some of the Saudi officials implicated in the October 2 killing of the writer, who was living in self-imposed exile in the USA while writing columns critical of his government for The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, reports quote Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as telling the United States he considered murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi to be a unsafe Islamist. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denounced the murder as "repulsive".

Khashoggi disappeared shortly after entering the consulate October 2 to obtain documents for his planned marriage, with Saudi officials giving shifting explanations for his death.

"We also noted that Saudi Arabia must extradite all 18 suspects to Turkey so that they can be held accountable for what they did", a senior Turkish official told CNN on Wednesday.

The Saudi Government initially insisted Khashoggi had left the consulate, later saying he died in an unplanned "rogue operation".

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"The UK needs to completely re-appraise its relationship with Saudi Arabia, moving on from its failed softly-softly "engagement" approach to one where ministers raise human rights openly and frankly with their counterparts in Riyadh".

The "Washington Post", citing an unnamed Turkish official, also reported that their columnist's body had been dissolved using acid or another chemical agent. This phrase was previously used by the Turkish president adviser Yasin Aktay who accused the deep state in the kingdom of killing Jamal Khashoggi.

The Turkish leader could also try to extract concessions from Riyadh for its ally Qatar, facing a Saudi blockade backed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt since 2017.

The Khashoggi crisis has shone a harsh spotlight on other issues such as Saudi Arabia's intervention in neighbouring Yemen, where its bombing campaign has led to a military stalemate and what aid workers call a humanitarian catastrophe.

"We must all send a clear message that authoritarian regimes can not kill journalists ever again", she said.

"Yet at the same time I say that it's very important for the stability of the world, for the region and of the world, that Saudi Arabia remain stable", Mr Netanyahu said.

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Omer Celik, the spokesman for Erdogan's ruling AK Party, said on Friday legal action would be taken against Kilicdaroglu over the comments.

Saudi Arabia has faced backlash over the death, including from its allies, who have called for answers.

His remains have not been located, and there has been no confirmation on, who ordered the killing.

Saudi Arabia said they will face justice in the kingdom.

"It is now up to the global community to bring the perpetrators to justice".

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Egypt and Somalia, are the only African countries that have backed the measures being taken by Saudi Arabia to investigate the case.

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