Erdogan, Trump agree on need to explain Khashoggi’s death

Jamal Khashoggi at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in 2011

Bombshell new allegations linking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been published by a Turkish newspaper.

The New York-based firm said it was not working in tandem with the Saudi government, and when it works with governments, the company "has not and never would engage in any work that seeks to target individuals based on their views", according to a statement released on Saturday night. Turkish media reports and officials say a 15-member Saudi team flew to Istanbul, laid in wait for Khashoggi at the consulate and then cut off his fingers, killed and dismembered the 59-year-old writer.

Khashoggi vanished on October 2 after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul seeking paperwork for his planned marriage to Cengiz.

The kingdom confirmed Saturday that he was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he'd gone to obtain a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

According to the senior Saudi official, the Saudi team rolled up Khashoggi's body in a rug, took it out in a consular vehicle and handed it to a "local cooperator" for disposal.

He said he would "love" it if the Crown Prince was not responsible for the murder.

A Saudi official, who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation, refused to confirm the details of the Reuters report but said that there had been a standing order from Saudi intelligence to "negotiate with people outside to come back home".

The Saudi version lacked "consistency and credibility", said Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister.

In a statement on Saturday, The Washington Post's publisher and chief executive, Fred Ryan, accused Saudi Arabia of repeatedly lying in the three weeks since Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance.

On Friday, during a roundtable in Arizona, asked if he believed whether the Saudi explanation that Khashoggi was killed during a "fistfight" with more than a dozen agents was credible, he said: "I do. I do".

Turkey's Anadolu agency said early Monday that Erdogan had spoken with President Donald Trump and they both agreed to assess "all aspects" of the case before drawing a conclusion.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Sunday that she supports a freeze on arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Sunday that "I agree with all those who say that the already limited arms exports. can't take place in the situation we're now in". He also urged Turkey to turn over purported audio recordings of Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"We can feel their pain and we wish this didn't happen and I wish that this could have been avoided", he said.

TRT World's Ben Said has more.

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