News Desk |
Saudi Arabia denied allegations that it ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside its Istanbul consulate. Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz’s denial comes 11 days after Mr. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish sources allege he was then killed by a team of Saudi agents. A Turkish security source told the BBC that officials have audio and video evidence proving the killing. Saudi Arabia has maintained the journalist, a critic of the government, left the building shortly after arriving on 2 October.
US President Donald Trump, who has sought to build good relations with Saudi Arabia, pledged to uncover the truth.
The interior minister said on Friday the kingdom was keen to uncover “the whole truth”, according to the official Saudi Press Agency, stressing reports “about orders to kill” are “baseless”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the BBC’s economics editor Kamal Ahmed he was “worried” by Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance, especially as incidents like this were becoming the “apparent new normal”.
“It’s absolutely essential to make sure that the international community says clearly that this is not something that can happen,” he said. Mr. Guterres added it was important to establish “exactly what has happened”.
US President Donald Trump, who has sought to build good relations with Saudi Arabia, pledged to uncover the truth. Mr. Trump told reporters on Friday that he would call Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to discuss “the terrible situation in Turkey”, news agency AP reports.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said she was “horrified” by reports coming out of Turkey but would still attend the Saudi conference.
However, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he is still planning to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh later this month, dubbed “Davos in the Desert”, despite a number of other top business leaders pulling out, including Jim Kim, the head of the World Bank.
Mr. Mnuchin’s trip is against the recommendations of the House of Representatives’ foreign affairs committee, which wrote to Mr. Trump urging him to reconsider the visit. International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said she was “horrified” by reports coming out of Turkey but would still attend the Saudi conference.
“I have to conduct the business of the IMF in all corners in the world. At this point of time my intention is to not change my plans and to be very attentive to the information that is coming out in the next few days,” she said.