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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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OCTOBER 21, 2018

     The Saudis must to admit the facts as they are known - the truth is another story.  Germany and France on Saturday called Saudi Arabia’s explanation of how Jamal Khashoggi died in Istanbul incomplete, going further than U.S. President Donald Trump in pressing the kingdom over the journalist’s disappearance and death. Saudi Arabia said early on Saturday that Khashoggi, a critic of the country’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had died in a fight inside its consulate in the Turkish city.

     Riyadh provided no evidence to support its account, which marked a reversal of an initial statement that Khashoggi had left the consulate the same day he entered on Oct. 2 to get documents for his upcoming marriage. Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was killed inside the consulate by a team of Saudi agents and his body cut up. While Middle Eastern allies closed ranks around the kingdom, Western reaction to the Saudi narrative varied. U.S. President Donald Trump said it was credible.

     By contrast, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a joint statement with her foreign minister, said the Saudi account was not enough. “We expect transparency from Saudi Arabia about the circumstances of his death ... The information available about events in the Istanbul consulate is inadequate,” they said. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called into question the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.

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