Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Chrystia Freeland says Canada ‘very troubled’ by disappearance of Saudi journalist

Chrystia Freeland says Canada ‘very troubled’ by disappearance of Saudi journalist

President Trump has dispatched his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to look into the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish police entered the building on Monday for the first time since Khashoggi, a Saudi national and United States resident who became increasingly critical of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing. Trump, after speaking on Monday with King Salman, said without offering evidence that the slaying could have been carried out by "rogue killers".

The family of missing activist Jamal Khashoggi said Monday they're following the news of the writer, who disappeared in Saudi Arabia on October 2. "He didn't really know, maybe - I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me - maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Saudi officials and consulate workers denied murder allegations and claimed that Khashoggi left the consulate, but have failed to provide any evidence of his exit from the facility.

Trump also said he told the king: "The world is watching".

CNN reports that the Saudi government is preparing to say Jamal Khashoggi died during an interrogation that went wrong.

"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be difficult" the Turkish official said. Turkish officials said an autopsy specialist carrying a bone saw was among 15 Saudi operatives who flew in and out of Istanbul the day Khashoggi disappeared.

But he has also made clear he is reluctant to curb all-important arms sales to Saudi Arabia. "We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial".

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But on Oct 11, The Washington Post reported that the Turkish government told USA officials it had audio and video recordings to proof the journalist had been killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. His fiancee, friends and Turkish authorities have said he did not leave the building.

He said the developments show that the United States "will definitely not be able to cut Iran's oil exports to zero" - the goal set by US officials - when sanctions targeting the oil sector go into effect on November 5.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he still plans to attend but would "take (it) into account" if more information came out. European allies have urged accountability for those responsible.

The Saudi riyal fell to its lowest in two years and its worldwide bond prices slipped over fears that foreign investment could shrink amid global pressure.

He had been critical of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests. Regardless of whether the midterm elections produce a Congress more or less favorable to the White House, the bipartisan condemnation of Khashoggi's disappearance and the determination of the Beltway media to find out what happened to one of their own mean that simply reverting to a "business-as-usual" approach probably won't be an option. Saudi stock index was down 3 percent in early Tuesday trade before it recouped some losses for a decline of 0.5 percent by 0949 GMT. Prince Mohammed told Reuters a year ago that Blackstone and BlackRock Inc were planning to open offices in the kingdom.

Saudi state owned Al-Arabiya news channel delivered a bullish message to the USA and the worldwide community in response to growing calls for sanctions against Riyadh over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The World Bank, The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC and Uber have also announced their decision to pull out the conference amid the ongoing scandal around Khashoggi's disappearance.

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