Erdoğan, Saudi King discuss Khashoggi case over phone

Erdoğan, Saudi King discuss Khashoggi case over phone

ANKARA

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In a Sunday night phone call, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz discussed the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdoğan stressed forming a joint working group to probe the case, said a Turkish presidential source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to media.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has gone missing since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

On that same day 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the building while Khashoggi was also inside, Turkish police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of Khashoggi’s fate, while several countries -- particularly Turkey, the U.S., and the U.K -- are pressing for the case to be cleared up as soon as possible.

On Oct. 13, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Riyadh with “severe punishment” if Khashoggi has been murdered.

The Saudi stock market dropped more than 6.8 percent after the statement.

“The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations,” the official SPA news agency quoted an official source as saying.

“The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action,” the source added.

Meanwhile, more major players in international finance and industry are pulling out of a high-profile business conference in Saudi Arabia.

The chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jamie Dimon, had been a featured speaker at the conference in Riyadh. The Wall Street Journal reported that Dimon has backed out.

Ford Motor Co. confirms that Executive Chairman Bill Ford will not attend. He too had been scheduled to speak.

Turkey expects Saudi cooperation in Khashoggi case: FM Çavuşoğlu