Saudi Arabia says it will prosecute Khashoggi killers

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

GIUSEPPE CACACE AFP)GIUSEPPE CACACE AFP Getty Images Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday that the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi undermined Middle Eastern stability and that Washington would take additional measures against those responsible.

Turkey is a friendly country to Saudi Arabia, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday (October 24) called the killing of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi a "heinous crime that can not be justified".

Once an insider in Saudi royal circles, Khashoggi fell out of favour with the monarchy after bin Salman was named heir to the throne past year.

Trump, who in May withdraw the United States from a 2015 worldwide nuclear accord with Tehran, has strongly backed Saudi Arabia in its efforts to counter Iran's influence. "They're detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia", he said.

While the USA defense chief slammed Iran and spoke out about ongoing attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen, he didn't mention Saudi Arabia's role in the conflict, including its alleged indiscriminate bombings of civilians.

Quoting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Mattis told the security conference in Bahrain that the US "does not tolerate this kind of ruthless action to silence Mr Khashoggi, a journalist, through violence". And while Mattis said the failure of any nation to adhere to worldwide norms and rule of law "undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most", he also stressed the strength of Saudi-US relations by saying "We maintain our strong people-to-people partnership knowing that with our respect must come transparency and trust as indicated by President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and European leaders alike".

The minister also said the administration of US President Donald Trump has a "rational, realistic" foreign policy that all Gulf Arab states can support. "In that case, we should stop selling cars", he told reporters - another possible dig at Germany, a massive auto exporter.

President Trump was quick to point fingers at a "rogue" element inside the Saudi government.

Erdoğan reiterated during an address to parliament on Friday that Riyadh must disclose the location of Khashoggi's body and identify who ordered his killing - a sign that Ankara is willing to keep up the pressure on the beleaguered kingdom and its de facto ruler, the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

She feared he was being "very political" and she would go when the U.S. was honest about solving Mr Khashoggi's death.

Cengiz said Khashoggi was concerned tensions would arise when he visited the consulate for the first time on September 28, but he was treated well at that visit, which appeared to reassure him, she said.

"You need to show this body", Erdogan said.

Al-Jubeir said critics should wait for the Saudi investigation to publish its conclusions rather than blaming the kingdom "from the get-go".

How other key powers see the situation?

While Western countries have expressed scepticism of the Saudi explanations, Russian Federation has kept up a steady drumbeat of support for Riyadh.

But there is disagreement over how to respond.

On Friday, in Abuja, activists under the platform of the Coalition of Nigerian Media and Civil Society Groups demanded justice for Mr Khashoggi.

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl meanwhile suggested a joint European Union ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia could help bring the brutal Yemeni conflict to an end.

Russian Federation has said the royal family should be believed and that "no-one should have any reasons not to believe them", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

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