Saudi Arabia has no plans to repeat 1973 oil crisis: Minister

The revelations come amid reports by experts of a massive increase in both the activity and presence of pro Saudi automated Twitter accounts since Khashoggi’s killing. Stock Image

This image, obtained by the Turkish broadcaster TRT World purportedly shows Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi before passing barriers that block the road leading to the Saudi consulate, in Istanbul. He adds Saudi officials do not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains.

So far, the Saudis' explanation for what fate befell Khashoggi has changed multiple times, having initially claimed his death was the result of a fistfight at the consulate, before claiming he had been placed in a chokehold and died accidentally, and later admitting that the journalist's death was indeed murder and a "tremendous mistake".

"As long as these investigations are ongoing, as long as we don't know what has happened there, there is no basis on which we can take positive decisions for arms exports to Saudi Arabia".

Jubeir was the first senior Saudi official to speak on the record on the matter after Saudi Arabia admitted on Saturday that Khashoggi was dead. Investigators are seeking to take statements from all 45 consulate workers within the coming days.

The auto can only be searched if Saudi Arabia gives permission as it carries a diplomatic plate.

US President Donald Trump had also talked about possible punishment but said he didn't want to halt a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia because, he maintained, it would harm US manufacturers.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, speaking to Fox News in the us, said Sunday that Khashoggi, 59, died in a "rogue operation", in which "individuals ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had". He also said Prince Mohammed was not responsible.

The report in Yeni Safak citing allegations by Turkish government sources that the Crown Prince personally phoned Khashoggi moments before his murder contradict Saudi claims he had no knowledge of the assassination plot.

He was visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at the beginning of October for documents needed for his upcoming marriage.

The €416 million ($479 million/£367 million) of arms exports Germany approved to Saudi Arabia for this year pales in comparison to the arrangement between the United States and the kingdom.

Turkey earlier said 15 Saudis who travelled to Istanbul were involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

"While it might be too early to evaluate the reaction of the worldwide community, these moves might be read as a serious initial signal that the Saudi leadership is course correcting", wrote Ayham Kamel, the head of Mideast and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group.

In a statement Sunday, the governments said attacks on journalists were unacceptable and "of utmost concern to our three nations".

Meanwhile, five Turkish employees of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul gave statements as witnesses under the investigation, a judicial source said Monday.

The employee said the prosecutors asked them whether something "extraordinary" happened on October 2 in the consulate or if they saw Khashoggi and 15 other Saudis, how long they were employed in the consulate, where they are from and the working hours of the staff. Speaking late Saturday after a campaign rally in Nevada, Trump said he needs to learn more about the killing and will be working with Congress on the US response.

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