Missing Journalist Subjects Saudis to Scrutiny

(Bloomberg) --

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist critical of his country’s leadership, has evoked unusual alarm in the Gulf kingdom’s most important ally.

President Donald Trump, who has cultivated a close relationship with the Saudi royal family even as he’s lamented high oil prices, said yesterday he was “very concerned” about reports Khashoggi may have been murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to obtain paperwork he needed to remarry.

Vice President Mike Pence went further, saying if the claims were true “this is a tragic day” and “the free world deserves answers.” Several U.S. lawmakers – in a rare threat against a key Middle East partner – warned Saudi Arabia could face economic consequences if it killed Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post who has lived in voluntary exile for a year.

The Saudi government has vehemently denied abducting or killing Khashoggi, saying he left the consulate shortly after entering. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded proof, while sounding relatively restrained so far on how Turkey might proceed from here. 

If evidence does implicate the Saudi government in Khashoggi’s disappearance, it would mark a sharp escalation in how far authorities are willing to go to silence criticism. The first casualty would be the kingdom’s already fraught relationship with Turkey. But the damage could spread much further.

Missing Journalist Subjects Saudis to Scrutiny

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Missing Journalist Subjects Saudis to Scrutiny

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