Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US has unexpectedly left for Riyadh, with the State Department saying they did not request it but “expect” the envoy to return with information about the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“That was not our direction,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday, adding, “we expect some information when he gets back.”
The Khashoggi case has the “highest level attention” from the US government, Nauert added.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who wrote for the Washington Post and lived in Turkey, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. Ankara has accused Saudi Arabia of murdering the journalist. Riyadh has rejected the allegations as “baseless.”
Ambassador Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the son of King Salman and younger brother of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
On Wednesday, 22 senators from both parties sent a letter to President Donald Trump demanding an investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance under the Global Magnitsky Act. The administration has four months to complete the investigation and send a report to the Senate, including recommendations for any sanctions against individuals or countries found responsible.
Trump had already been asked to look into the matter by Khashoggi’s fiancee. “It’s a very sad situation. It’s a very bad situation. And we want do get to the bottom of it,” the US president told reporters Wednesday. “We cannot let this happen, to reporters, to anybody.”
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!