Joint probe into presumed murder of Saudi journalist underway

Prince Sultan bin Turki accused the Saudi government of kidnapping him back to Saudi Arabia

Khashoggi is a Saudi citizen and critic of the government who vanished last Tuesday after entering the consulate, triggering a major diplomatic crisis for the kingdom. And on Sunday, Britain, France and Germany released a joint statement expressing "grave concern" about Khashoggi's case and calling for a "credible investigation".

The Foreign Ministry official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.

The development comes after The Washington Post reported that Turkey told USA officials it has audio and video proof that Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered in the consulate.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, the minister of interior, said in a statement that the allegations that the Saudi government committed the killing of Khashoggi "are outright lies and baseless allegations". Saudi Arabia has been silencing the world, especially the self-proclaimed proponents of human rights in the West, through its lavish arms purchases and bribes.

Khashoggi's fate remains unclear.

However, US President Donald Trump underlined in comments which outraged supporters of Khashoggi that there would be limits to any backlash, saying he was not minded to limit arms sales to the key American ally. Writing on Twitter on Monday, Trump said he had spoken with Saudi King Salman, "who denies any knowledge" of what happened to Khashoggi. "I am immediately sending our Secretary of State (Mike Pompeo) to meet with King!"

A joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, was also being discussed by USA and European diplomats, the BBC said. Russian Federation wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it.

Already, worldwide business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as "Davos in the Desert". "I felt that I could give practical development advice and also help protect the precious environment around the coastline and islands", Branson wrote Thursday in a blog post. German industrial giant Siemens, whose chief executive Joe Kaeser is invited, told AFP it had not cancelled its participation but was following the situation closely.

She was referring to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sometimes referred to as KSA.

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Saudi Arabia provide video footage to prove that Khashoggi left the facility.

In talks with humanitarian groups in September, Macron said he was sceptical of Prince Mohammed's reform agenda and that he would not hesitate to question him if required, according to people present. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, said King Salman thanked Erdogan "for welcoming the kingdom's proposal" for forming the working group.

State-run news agencies in both Saudi Arabia and Turkey acknowledged Sunday night's call.

Even now analysts are anxious that Saudi Arabia may tempt countries and political figures who are seeking answers about the fate of the journalist.

Prince Mohammed has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment.

In protest of Khashoggi's disappearance, several USA businesses leaders have pulled out of next week's Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, dubbed "Davos in the Desert", after the annual meeting of world economic interests in Switzerland.

The threat caused the stock market of the world's biggest oil exporter to lose as much as $33 billion of its value on Sunday in one of the first signs of the economic pain that Riyadh could suffer over the affair.

His absence will be hugely symbolic as Saudi Arabia's mammoth sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), invested $3.5 billion in Uber in 2016.

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