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Turkey seeks arrest of Saudis for murder of Khashoggi

Turkey seeks arrest of Saudis for murder of Khashoggi

Two key U.S. Republican senators said Tuesday after a briefing by the CIA's director that they have "zero" doubt Saudi Arabia's crown prince directed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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"If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a awful mistake", Trump said on November 20, when he released a lengthy statement.

Rubio also said top Trump administration officials - including President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - have been asserting that there's little evidence that bin Salman knew about the murder in order to preserve diplomatic relations with the Saudis.

He argued that Pompeo and Mattis needed to be asked specifically if they disagreed with the CIA's conclusion there was "no smoking gun" to link the crown prince to the murder, as Mattis has claimed. "You have to balance all of those considerations as we move forward on this".

Pompeo and Mattis are now expected to give a briefing to the House on Yemen and Saudi Arabia on December 13, ahead of a Democratic takeover of the House in January following the party's gains in the midterm elections.

U.S. media reports say the Central Intelligence Agency has evidence he exchanged messages with Saud al-Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the murder.

But Graham said he would not support the joint resolution that would cut off military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Following a Central Intelligence Agency briefing on Monday, top US senators said they are even more convinced that the prince was involved in the killing. If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes.

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Officials in the Istanbul prosecutor's office confirmed to ABC News that the wanted men, royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri, are accused of planning and overseeing the killing of Khashoggi, which took place in the Saudi Arabian consulate building in Istanbul on October 2.

"I'm on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, so everything they knew, whatever they learned in that meeting, we've known", he said.

Khashoggi, a USA -based Washington Post contributor who was a strong critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), was murdered in October inside the Saudi consulate in Instanbul, Turkey.

Corker said senators are trying to figure out how to amend the resolution, which directs the president to remove most USA armed forces from hostilities affecting Yemen.

Trump has made a concerted decision to avoid rebuking Saudi Arabia, claiming the kingdom's role in affecting global oil prices and its arms deals with the United States are more important to the national interest. Legislators have vowed to punish Saudi Arabia, proposing a measure which would remove USA support for the Saudis in the civil war in Yemen.

The Haspel briefing included leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Armed Services Committee and Appropriations Committee.

"It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't!".

It remains unclear whether Turkish prosecutors have found any new evidence that led them to believe that Asiri and al-Qahtani were responsible for the murder.

"Now, the question is, how do you separate the Saudi crown prince and his group from the nation itself", he said.