Washington Post prints empty column for Saudi journalist missing in Turkey

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Washington Post prints empty column for Saudi journalist missing in Turkey

The comments further deepen the mystery surrounding what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, who had been living in self-imposed exile in the USA while writing columns critical of the kingdom and its policies under upstart Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Further, his most recent pieces had been translated into Arabic, something which Ali Shihabi said was particularly contentious in his discussion about why a recent tweet from the Canadian ambassador spurred a major rift with Saudi Arabia.

"The request that America made to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries is to be sure that if there is any loss of supply from Iran, that we will supply that".

The crown prince insisted that the kingdom has always paid for armaments from the US. "Given the Saudi authorities' pattern of quietly detaining critical journalists, Khashoggi's failure to emerge from the Saudi consulate on the day he entered is a cause for alarm", said the CPJ's Sherif Mansour.

Khashoggi was at the consulate to acquire paperwork regarding his divorce from his Saudi wife and to marry a Turkish woman, who was first to break the news about his disappearance.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Wednesday Turkey believed Khashoggi was still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, challenging the Saudi account.

In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, published on Friday, bin Salman said Saudi Arabia is "very keen to know what happened" to the Saudi citizen, adding "we have nothing to hide".

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia struck a private deal in September to raise oil output to cool rising prices and informed the United States before a meeting in Algiers with other producers, Reuters reported this week. The woman told reporters that Khashoggi asked her to alert friends if he did not return, apparently anxious about being held there; though it was his second visit to the consulate in weeks for routine paperwork.

The State Department said it was aware of Khashoggi's disappearance and was seeking more information. This is a red line not only for Saudi Arabia but for the whole world. He went into self-imposed exile in the United States following the ascension of Prince Mohammed, now next in line to succeed his father, the 82-year-old King Salman. For instance, Nawaf Talal al-Rasheed, a Qatari national and a cousin of famed Saudi academic and critic Madawi al-Rasheed, was arrested in Kuwait and passed to Saudi authorities "under bilateral mutual security arrangements between Kuwait and Riyadh".

Over the past year, he has written columns inveighing against Saudi policies towards Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen and a crackdown on dissent which has seen dozens of people detained.

His disappearance could exacerbate tense relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which worsened previous year after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the Gulf States' isolation of Qatar "inhumane and against Islamic values".

In the coming days, Saudi government statements will be important in indicating what has happened to Khashoggi and whether Saudi policies towards dissidents overseas may have become more interventionist.

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