Turkey committed to shedding light on Khashoggi murder

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 25.12.2018 23:48
Updated 26.12.2018 08:00

Ankara reiterated its determination to reveal the full truth behind the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 by a Saudi hit squad.

"The probe into the murder has not yet concluded. The whereabouts of the body and who gave the order are still unknown," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a press briefing yesterday.

Çavuoğlu underscored that even if the investigation process is halted, Turkey will carry the investigation of the murder to the U.N. and the international arena, adding that Ankara is still consulting with the U.N. about the case.

Pointing out that policies pursued by Turkey during the investigation have been appreciated worldwide, Çavuşoğlu said the Khashoggi case is a crime and a judicial case, not a diplomatic spat between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul by a team of 15 people, consisting of Saudi officials who arrived in Turkey for his murder and to conduct a cover-up operation for what Turkey says was a premeditated murder orchestrated by high-ranking officials in Riyadh. Saudi officials denied that the royal family and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) had any prior knowledge, insisting that Khashoggi died in a "rogue operation," after weeks of claiming he had left the building before vanishing.

Previously, the editorial board of The Washington Post called for the U.S. Senate to persist on reshaping Saudi-U.S. relations following the murder of the journalist.

"The Senate should insist that relations with Saudi Arabia be reshaped to reflect a genuinely realistic assessment: that the United States does not need and should not sustain a relationship with the reckless tyrant who rules it," the Post wrote on Sunday.

The newspaper pointed out that the murder has altered the understanding of U.S. equities with Riyadh and underlined the growing threat posed by regimes that lawlessly pursue their critics beyond their borders, adding that the Senate was right to hold MBS responsible.

The Post highlighted that imposing consequences on MBS is more important than the $100 billion arms sale to Riyadh, as "the U.S. and other democracies will not thrive in the lawless world he would help to create."

Khashoggi's murder prompted an unprecedented international outcry and forced many countries to reassess their ties with Riyadh. Western countries, including France and Canada, have placed sanctions on nearly 20 Saudi nationals, while the murder has damaged Riyadh's international reputation as the case turned the spotlight on the crown prince.

The Donald Trump administration, however, has been unwilling to impose sanctions on MBS and Riyadh due to its arms sale and Saudi Arabia's alleged role in containing Iran's influence in the region; although the CIA assessed with high confidence that the crown prince "personally targeted" Khashoggi and "probably ordered his death."

Despite the administration's reluctance, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted a resolution to hold MBS accountable for the murder and voted to advance a bill to pull all of Washington's support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

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