“I will make my statements about this issue on Tuesday at the party group meeting,” Erdogan said. Turkey’s Anadolu agency said early on Monday that Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump had spoken on the telephone and agreed that “all aspects” of the case needed to be cleared up.
For Saudi Arabia’s allies—particularly in the West—the question will be whether they believe that the prince, who has painted himself as a reformer, has any culpability. King Salman, 82, has handed the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to him.
“I am not satisfied until we find the answer. But it was a big first step, it was a good first step. But I want to get to the answer,” Trump told reporters this weekend, when asked about the Saudi investigation and Riyadh’s firing of officials over the incident.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump said that “obviously there’s been deception, and there’s been lies.”
A leading Republican U.S. senator said he believed the crown prince was behind the killing, adding that the Saudis had lost all credibility in their explanations of his death. “Yes, I think he did it,” Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN, referring to the crown prince.
King Salman ordered the dismissal of five officials, including Saud al-Qahtani, a royal court adviser seen as the right-hand man to Prince Mohammed, and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri, Saudi state media reported on Saturday.
The king also ordered a restructuring of the intelligence service, to be led by Prince Mohammed, suggesting the prince still retained wide-ranging authority. Some governments and prominent executives have said they would pull out of a forthcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia. Among the latest, the government of New Zealand said it would not attend, as did the head of the main banking unit of Japanese financial group MUFG.
According to the senior Saudi official, the Saudi team rolled up Khashoggi’s body in a rug, took it out in a consular vehicle and handed it to a “local cooperator” for disposal.