Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 17, 2018

Newsline: Jamal Khashoggi Tortured In Front Of Top Saudi Diplomat

Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who has not been seen publicly since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month, was drugged, beaten, killed and dismembered by Saudi operatives in the presence of a top Saudi diplomat, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Turkish officials. A pro-government newspaper in Turkey also says it obtained recordings indicating the journalist was tortured in the office of Mohammad al-Otaibi, Saudi Arabia’s consul general in Istanbul. Saudi officials were reportedly preparing to admit earlier in the week that Khashoggi was killed in an interrogation gone wrong. Yet two sources with knowledge of the recordings told The Wall Street Journal that Khashoggi was not interrogated. They said he was dragged off minutes after entering the consulate to obtain marriage documents. Both sources, along with the Turkish newspaper, say a Saudi forensic specialist suggested others in the room listen to music using headphones while he dismembered Khashoggi’s body. The recordings reportedly suggest Khashoggi was killed in less than 10 minutes. Al-Otaibi, the Saudi consul general, left Istanbul for Riyadh on Tuesday, Reuters reported. His departure came hours before his home was expected to be searched in relation to the journalist’s disappearance.



Newsline: Indonesia may cancel trade deal with Australia if embassy moves to Jerusalem

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi expressed his country’s concern over Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s remarks that the country may move its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. Marsudi called on the Australian government to respect the peace process and UN Security Council resolutions issued in this regard. “Indonesia reiterates that [the political status of] Jerusalem is one of six issues that have to be negotiated and decided as a sustainable solution,” she said. “Indonesia asks Australia and other countries to continue supporting the Palestine-Israel peace process in accordance with the principles that have been agreed and to not take steps that may threaten the peace process and world stability.” The Australian Broadcasting Corp. broke the news yesterday that should Australia make the move, Indonesia could put on hold a landmark free trade pact, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which is scheduled to be signed later this year. The Indonesian minister revealed on Twitter that she had summoned the Australian ambassador in Jakarta the same day and “conveyed Indonesia’s strong concern” as well as “question[ed] the merit of Australia’s announcement on the issue of Palestine.”