US praises Saudi decision on Khashoggi’s son

Erdogan says Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor to visit Istanbul on Sunday to speak with Turkish authorities

Washington/Riyadh: A State Department spokesman said the US welcomed a decision by Saudi Arabia to let the son of slain writer Jamal Khashoggi leave the country and come to the United States.

Spokesman Robert Palladino tells reporters that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the son, Salah Khashoggi, during his recent visit to the kingdom.

Palladino said on Thursday that Pompeo “made it clear to Saudi leaders that he wanted Salah Khashoggi to return to the United States, and we are pleased that he is now able to do so”.

Human Rights Watch said earlier Thursday that Salah Khashoggi and his family were heading to the US. His destination was not publicly known, but his late father lived in the Washington area.

Palladino says Pompeo attended a briefing on the former Washington Post writer’s death by CIA Director Gina Haspel following her return from Turkey.

On Thursday, Saudi prosecutors said Turkish evidence showed Khashoggi’s slaying was premeditated.

This came as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saudi Arabia’s chief prosecutor will visit Istanbul to speak with Turkish authorities as part of the investigation into the murder. He added that Ankara has yet more evidence in the case.

Erdogan said that the Saudi prosecutor would arrive on Sunday, and called on Riyadh to reveal who ordered the killing and the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body. “You need to show this body,” Erdogan said during an address in Ankara to his ruling party’s provincial heads. The kingdom has arrested 18 Saudi suspects over the case. Erdogan said that they must know who killed Khashoggi and his repeated call for the men to be tried in Turkey.

“The culprit is among them. If that is not the case, then who is the local conspirator? You have to tell,” said Erdogan. “It is not that we don’t have any other information or documents. We do. Tomorrow is another day,” he said.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de factor ruler, denounced the “repulsive” murder last week.

Prince Mohammed spoke with Erdogan on the phone on Wednesday for the first time since the murder.


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