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Turkish FM Says No Reason for Erdogan Not to Meet Saudi Crown Prince

28 November 2018 8:41

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu shared in an interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to conduct a meeting during the G20 summit.

“Yes, he has asked Erdogan on the phone, whether they could meet in Buenos Aires. Erdogan answered ‘We shall see’,” Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu added that he sees no reason for Erdogan not to meet with Mohammed bin Salman. The Turkish Foreign Minister also said that he hoped for more clarity in regards to the meeting between the leaders of the two countries.

Spokesman for the Turkish president, Ibrahim Kalin, said that there ‘could be’ a meeting between President Erdogan and the Saudi crown prince during the G20 summit in Argentina. If it takes place, it will be the first meeting between the two since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. The incident has negatively affected relations between the two countries, as Ankara has accused Riyadh of orchestrating the murder, while the latter firmly denies it.

Saudi Arabia has denied on multiple occasions the involvement of the royal family in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, following media reports about the existence of evidence, allegedly proving that Mohammad bin Salman had ordered the killing. Riyadh insists the murder was orchestrated and performed by a group of ‘rogue’ agents.

The Saudi Prosecutor’s Office announced that it has arrested 21 suspects in relation to the Khashoggi case. It later added that 11 of them have already been charged, with five of them facing a death sentence.

Recently, Turkish media released parts of the alleged audio tape of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The tape purportedly depicts how the journalist was supposedly grabbed, restrained and then suffocated during his visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. One of the alleged members of the hit-squad can be heard accusing Khashoggi of treason and promising he will be ‘brought to account’.

Prior to the publication of the alleged audio recordings, Hürriyet Daily News reported that the CIA possesses a phone call recording of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordering to ‘silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible’. Neither the CIA, nor Washington have confirmed the existence of the tape.

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