Turkish-Arab journalists: We stand with Khashoggi

People wait by the entrance to a blocked road leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul on Thursday. Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul insisted Thursday that Jamal Khashoggi a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post left its bui

Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied speculations that Riyadh had taken Khashoggi, stressing that Turkey could search the kingdom's Consulate in Istanbul for the journalis.

Turkey's presidential spokesperson said on Wednesday that Khashoggi remains inside the Saudi consulate, a day after his fiancee reported he had failed to emerge from a meeting in the mission.

That's the approach the Washington Post took today, as the U.S. newspaper left a blank slate on its Opinion page to draw attention to the disappearance of Saudi journalist and Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

On the comments of Trump that the Saudi leadership would survive for two weeks without Washington's support, the crown prince highlighted that Saudi Arabia was there before the United States of America and it's there since 1744.

Turkey has said it believes Khashoggi is still inside the consulate.

On Thursday the official Saudi Press Agency cited the consulate as saying it was working with Turkish authorities to probe Mr Khashoggi's disappearance "after he left the consulate building".

Settlements, like that reached by billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, had generated an estimated 400 billion riyal (S$147 billion), the attorney-general said at the time. "Until otherwise demonstrated, he is still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the Saudi authorities are responsible for his safety and well-being", she said in a statement.




"We are holding a spot for Jamal Khashoggi in Friday's newspaper", the Post said in a tweet, which included a photo of the exceptional, empty spot at the centre of the page.

Khashoggi is a longtime Saudi journalist, foreign correspondent, editor and columnist whose work has been controversial in the past in the ultraconservative Sunni kingdom.

The State Department has also requested information about Khashoggi's disappearance.

More interesting than the arrest itself is the Saudi reaction, which appears to be shifting blame for Khashoggi's disappearance to Turkish authorities, rather than defending the detention of a dissident. In the early 1990s, he tried to persuade bin Laden to reconcile with the Saudi royal family and return home from his base in Sudan, but the al-Qaida leader refused.

Last week Trump asked at a rally "when you have wealthy countries like Saudi Arabia, like Japan, like South Korea, why are we subsidising their military?" "Saudi Arabia's statements in this direction are far from satisfactory".

Khashoggi's most recent columns for The Washington Post cover some of the most taboo subjects in Saudi Arabia: The need to end the ongoing war in Yemen, the moderate nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the need for domestic political reforms beyond allowing women the right to drive.

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