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23 Nov, 2018 09:35

Trump eager to ‘turn a blind eye' to Khashoggi murder – Turkish FM

Trump eager to ‘turn a blind eye' to Khashoggi murder – Turkish FM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has accused Donald Trump of intending to brush aside the killing of Jamal Khashoggi “no matter what” after the US president showed he’s still reluctant to cast a stone at Riyadh.

“He will turn a blind eye no matter what,” Cavusoglu told CNN Turk in an interview published Friday.

The diplomat was apparently reacting to the US leadership’s repeated refusal to assume that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman might have ordered the murder of the WaPo columnist. Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, but never came back… and was later confirmed to have been killed and dismembered there.

While at one point castigating Saudi Arabia over the gruesome murder of the journalist, Trump opted for a broader perspective on Thursday. The US president alleged that “the world should be held accountable” for the killing. He also dismissed the CIA’s assessment of the Saudi prince's potential involvement in the case. Trump stated that the said document did not “conclude” that fact, but merely had “feelings” for it.

Trump has been under fire for flip-flopping over the major US ally in the Middle East. Both Democrats and Republicans lashed out at the president’s statements, accusing him of defending the Saudi “regime.”

It’s not the first time Ankara has blasted Trump for his stance on Khashoggi’s murder and the potential paymaster. Earlier this week, Trump gave 50/50 odds that the de-facto Saudi leader had a hand in the murder, saying, “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t.”

The deputy chairman of President Erdogan’s AK Party, Numan Kurtulmus, ridiculed the “comic statement,” adding that US spies know even “the color of the fur on the cat walking around the Saudi consulate’s garden.”

READ MORE: Chilling quotes from alleged Khashoggi murder audio tape revealed

In the wake of Khashoggi’s murder and the public outcry over it, some states have reconsidered their arms deals with the kingdom. Some US allies, including Germany, Denmark, and Norway, suspended weapons sales to the Saudis. Berlin also imposed travel bans on 18 Saudis suspected of involvement in the killing.

Washington – while revoking the visas of over a dozen Saudis – is still defending its $400 billion arms deal with Riyadh. But the US is not the only country that’s reluctant to lose money here – Canada and Spain announced their arms deals with Saudi Arabia will go forward as well. In their defense, both have condemned the killing.

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