Trump says Saudi king denies knowledge of missing journalist's fate

WION Web Team United States Oct 15, 2018, 06.53 PM(IST)

File photo of US president Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

'Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened “to our Saudi Arabian citizen.” He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer . I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!', Trump said in a tweet.

US President Donald Trump said Monday that he had spoken to Saudi King Salman Salman bin Abdulaziz who had denied any knowledge of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi fate. Trump added that he was sending his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Salman.

"Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened “to our Saudi Arabian citizen.” He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer . I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!", Trump said in a tweet.

A day before the US President warned of severe punishment to Saudi Arabia if it is found responsible for the disappearance of the missing journalist.

However, the US president has repeatedly made clear that he will not risk billions of dollars in deals to sell weapons to the kingdom, which is a strategic ally in the tinderbox Middle East.

Senior journalist Khashoggi, 59, a strong critic of the Saudi establishment had taken US citizenship after leaving his country and had written several articles against Saudi Arabia's repressive policies for the Washington Post.

The New York Times revealed earlier that a group of 15 men flew down to Turkey in a private jet in order to kill Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The Turkish government openly accused Saudi Arabia of colluding to kill the journalist.

The journalist had entered the Saudi consulate to submit documents seeking a divorce from his wife living in Saudi Arabia so that he could remarry again in Turkey.

Saudi Arabia has denied any hand in Khashoggi's disappearance asserting that he walked out of the consulate from the back door. However, his fiance, Hatice Cengiz, who accompanied him to the consulate on October 2 said he never came out of the consulate as she waited outside.

×

Following days of mounting tensions, Saudi officials were allowing Turkish investigators to enter the consulate on Monday.

(With inputs from agencies)