UAE official slams "fierce campaign" against Saudi Arabia

Geraldine Edwards
October 11, 2018

Mr Khashoggi was last seen visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, and Turkey says he may have been murdered there. A USA official said that Turkish investigators believe Khashoggi was probably dismembered and his body removed in boxes and flown out of the country.

Saudi Arabia, while not yet being an official North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, is a prominent US partner. The world closely followed a crackdown on the princes of the Saudi royal family previous year, which proves the county's level of violent ambition.

"That's how we are becoming in Saudi Arabia..." The Washington Post reported US intelligence services intercepted communications of Saudi officials, discussing a plan to lure him back to the kingdom. Trump visited Saudi Arabia on his first global trip as president and announced $110 billion in proposed arms sales.

Saudi Arabia has insisted the journalist left the building safely. Turkish officials have only spoken anonymously to the media about the details of the investigation.

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The consulate's security camera visuals of Khashoggi on that day show him going inside the building but there is no footage of him coming out, according to Turkish authorities. He's gone missing after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels since March 2015. He also indicated that the Saudi government is "very keen to know what happened to him". Saudi royal guards, intelligence officers, soldiers and an autopsy expert were part of a 15-member team from the kingdom that targeted Khashoggi, Turkish media reported Thursday.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he has a call in to Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who has appealed to the president and first lady Melania Trump for help.

The unnamed woman, who is a Turkish citizen, called police when Khashoggi did not emerge at 5 p.m., after the consulate had officially closed. "We're working with Turkey, and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia", the U.S. president said in an interview on the Fox News. "So far, they're right", Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas wrote on Wednesday of the Middle Eastern regime.

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Back in March, Khashoggi appeared on Al Jazeera's "UpFront" and said there wasn't any room for debate in Saudi Arabia with journalists jailed for questioning its policies.

A group of US senators on Wednesday pressured Trump to hold Saudi Arabia, a longtime USA ally in the Middle East, accountable for Khashoggi's fate, possibly calling for sanctions against the kingdom if it finds human rights violations under terms of the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016.

The exchange came as the United States faces increasing pressure to respond to Khashoggi's disappearance and alleged killing at the hands of his own government.

US President Donald Trump has also demanded answers over his fate. But Trump is expressing reservations over calls to withhold further USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

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Hourly pay edged up 0.3 percent for the month, and is 2.8 percent higher than the same month past year , a notch above inflation. Healthcare employment rose by 26,000 in September. "The standard measures just don't reflect those increases well, if at all".

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