Treasury Secretary Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi investment conference

The Washington Post has published what it described as the final column submitted by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi before his disappearance and presumed death.

Turkish officials say Mr. Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate shortly after he entered on October 2, stirring global revulsion and widespread condemnation of Saudi Arabia.

In the introduction to Khashoggi's column - which was accompanied by a photo of the smiling writer - the Post's Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah said the newspaper held off on publishing it in the hopes that he would return. "I think we have to find out what happened first", he said.

"The president needs to be measured - I get that - but the world is watching us", Sen.

On Wednesday and into Thursday, investigators spent nearly nine hours searching the Saudi consul's residence, then moving on to the consulate itself about 200m (650ft) away, according to Reuters news agency.

A Turkish newspaper reported October 18 that Turkish police will extend the search for missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to a forest in Istanbul and a farm house in the neighboring province of Yalova.

USA media outlets have reported that the Saudis, despite their earlier denials of involvement, will acknowledge that Khashoggi was killed in a botched interrogation.

Mr Khashoggi, a Saudi national who contributed to The Washington Post and criticised policies of King Salman's son Crown Prince Mohammed, has not been seen since Oct 2, when he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain official documents for his upcoming marriage.

In the column, the Saudi journalist argued in favor of a free press in the Middle East.

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Pompeo visited Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind called for Britain to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia following the disappearance of a Saudi journalist.

Khashoggi provided examples of crackdowns on the free press in the Arab world, actions he said prevent citizens from knowing the true facts and coming to their own conclusions on issues. The secretary of state noted that the Saudi leaders, while denying knowledge of anything that occurred inside the consulate, had committed to accountability "including for Saudi Arabia's senior leaders or senior officials".

This new detail surfaces as statements from American and Turkish officials on Khashoggi's alleged murder stand in stark juxtaposition.

New reporting overnight could escalate a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Saudi Arabia. "I don't want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Confirming that the tape said to provide evidence of the killing had been requested, Mr Trump added: "I'm not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does".

The New York Times reported Tuesday that a suspect identified by Turkey was a frequent companion of the prince's.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he will decide on Thursday whether to attend.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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