Is Saudi Arabia Showing Signs Of Weakness?

People wait by the entrance to a blocked road leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul on Thursday. Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul insisted Thursday that Jamal Khashoggi a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post left its bui

Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has brushed off comments from US President Donald Trump that Washington is "subsidizing" the kingdom's military, Bloomberg reported Friday.

The Saudi envoy was called in on Wednesday, they said, to clarify the whereabouts of Khashoggi, a critic of Riyadh's foreign policy and its crackdown on dissent who left Saudi Arabia past year saying he feared retribution for his views. Asked if Khashoggi faces charges in Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed said it was first important to discover where he was.

"The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, the well-known Washington Post journalist, by the Saudi Arabian Consulate on October 2 at around 13.30 p.m. local time has been a matter of widespread speculation and debate", said Turan Kislakci, head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association (TAM), in a gathering outside the Istanbul consulate, demanding answers from officials.

What do Saudi Arabia and Turkey say?

Ankara and Riyadh gave contradictory versions of the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance, with Turkish officials saying they believed he was still inside the consulate.

The State Department said it is "closely following" the case. As per the rules in some embassies and consulates, he was also required to surrender his mobile phone.

"If Saudi authorities surreptitiously detained Khashoggi it would be yet another escalation of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman's reign of repression against peaceful dissidents and critics", Human Rights Watch Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said in a statement.

Explaining that, after Trump became U.S. president, Saudi Arabia has already agreed to procure almost 60 percent of its arms from Washington, he emphasized that Riyadh owes nothing extra because it always pays for weapons supplies in cash.

He claimed that Khashoggi had left the building not long after he entered earlier this week, alleging, "If he's in Saudi Arabia, I would know that".

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old veteran journalist who has lived in self-imposed exile in the USA since Prince Mohammed's rise to power, disappeared Tuesday while on a visit to the consulate to get paperwork done to be married to his Turkish fiancée.

What has Saudi Arabia said about it?

He has 1.6 million followers on Twitter and has the benefit of having once had intimate access both to the ruling family and to Osama bin Laden at different times in his life. Canada, they gave an order to Saudi Arabia on an internal issue.

"Ever since the relationship started between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, we've bought everything with money".

Khashoggi's most recent columns for The Washington Post cover some of the most taboo subjects in Saudi Arabia: The need to end the ongoing war in Yemen, the moderate nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the need for domestic political reforms beyond allowing women the right to drive.

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