Washington Post prints empty column for Saudi writer missing in Turkey


Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he is ready to allow Turkey to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul following the disappearance this week of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who entered the mission.

Khashoggi, a critic of Riyadh's foreign policy and its crackdown on dissent, left Saudi Arabia previous year saying he feared retribution for his views.

Saudi Arabia says he left the building but Turkey says he may still be inside.

The Washington Post has published a blank column in its Friday's print edition and a blank page on its website to highlight the disappearance of one of its regular writers, Jamal Khashoggi, as the mystery deepens over the Saudi journalist's whereabouts.

On the comments of Trump that the Saudi leadership would survive for two weeks without Washington's support, the crown prince highlighted that Saudi Arabia was there before the United States of America and it's there since 1744.

Turkey's presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday that Khashoggi remained inside the Saudi consulate.

The consulate also said on Twitter that they are working in coordination with Turkish authorities to investigate the issue.

"We export as much as two barrels for any barrel that disappeared from Iran recently", Prince Mohammed said.

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Yemeni activist and 2011 victor of the Nobel Peace Prize, Tawakkol Karman said she believed Khashoggi "was kidnapped in this gangster's den that is supposed to be a consulate".

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom's main sovereign wealth fund (PIF) will surpass its target of increasing its financial clout to $600 billion by 2020, as part of the efforts to wean economy off oil.

Khashoggi is a longtime Saudi journalist, foreign correspondent, editor and columnist whose work has been controversial in the past in the ultraconservative Sunni kingdom. In return, Saudi Arabia has created armaments and investment opportunities, and other trade opportunities over a period of time.

The government-run Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday the consulate in Istanbul said he did leave Tuesday.

Notably, Khashoggi would not be the only Gulf national to have been arrested overseas to be returned to the kingdom, and other incidents have been far more public.

Saudi Arabia is the only oil producer with significant spare capacity on hand to supply the market if needed.

In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime.

At a rally in MS earlier this week, President Trump bragged about putting his foot down with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and demanding more military spending, following accusations that he and other OPEC nations are "ripping off the rest of the world".