Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday challenged Saudi Arabia to reveal the body of slain reporter Jamal Khashoggi.
Speaking before Turkish Parliament for the second time this week, Erdogan said whoever “gave the orders” to kill the Washington Post reporter and Saudi critic must be brought to justice.
So far, Saudi officials have arrested 18 people in connection with Khashoggi’s killing, but Riyadh continues to portray the incident as a rogue operation. The United States froze visas for all 18 who were arrested, plus three additional Saudis who belong to the intelligence service, royal court and a government ministry, U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said.
Saudi Arabia acknowledged Thursday that Khashoggi’s death was “premeditated” before he arrived at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. That admission, though, followed weeks of conflicting stories — including one in which Saudi officials said Khashoggi died after a fight at the consulate.
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“These childish statements are not compatible with the seriousness of a [nation] state,” Erdogan said Friday.
The chief Saudi prosecutor said Friday he will travel to Turkey to aid the investigation. The foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia also had a phone conversation about the case Friday, diplomatic sources told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency.
Khashoggi’s son, Salah, has left Saudi Arabia for the United States, three days after he met with members of the Saudi royal family. He has arrived in the United States, CNN reported.
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Salah Khashoggi, who holds Saudi and U.S. citizenship, was restricted by a travel ban because his father wrote columns critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other leadership in Riyadh. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put pressure on the Saudi government to lift the ban during a visit to the nation last week, Palladino said.
Thursday, CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed President Donald Trump on her meeting with Turkish officials. Reports Thursday said Haspel heard recordings that captured Khashoggi’s death.