A bit from the Riyadh investment forum:
Saudi Arabia says organisers will be signing deals worth $50 billion at the start of a major economic forum in Riyadh.
The Future Investment Initiative forum, which began on Tuesday, is the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It’s aimed at drawing more foreign investment into the kingdom and to help create desperately needed jobs for its youthful population.
The deals will be in manufacturing, transportation and other fields.
Prince Mohammed was not immediately at the forum when it started.
The forum last year proved to be a glitzy affair that drew more international business attention to the kingdom. This year’s event meanwhile has seen business leaders drop out over Khashoggi’s murder. (Via AP)
The Guardian’s Middle East editor, Martin Chulov, writes:
There were few new details in Erdogan’s speech, which fell short of the expectations he himself had set by claiming it would reveal the “full naked truth” behind Jamal Khashoggi’s death.
- A team of three people arrived from Riyadh on October 1, the day before the disappearance, and scouted a forest near Istanbul. The implication is that the three men were looking for a place to discard Khashoggi’s remains.
- The 18 people arrested by Riyadh included all those who Turkey had named as assassins, as well as three other men, whose identities have not been revealed.
- Erdogan made no reference to audio or video recordings, which would be deeply damaging to Saudi leaders.
He asked for the 18 men to be tried in Istanbul. Throughout his address, he remained deferential to King Salman, and made no mention of embattled Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Erdoğan’s speech carried a strong implication that the Turkish president does not think MbS is innocent in this case, says our Turkey and Middle East correspondent, Bethan McKernan. Erdoğan also wants Turkey to conduct the criminal investigation.
Erdoğan’s address has made it crystal clear that the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a premeditated and meticulously planned political assassination. He mentioned that reconnaissance teams went as far as scouting forest areas near Istanbul.
Bethan McKernan on some very telling language from Erdoğan:
“I do not doubt the sincerity of King Salman. That being said, independent investigation needs to be carried out. This is a political killing”
– That’s huge from Erdoğan. Doesn’t mention MbS’s innocence or have faith in Saudi investigation
Erdoğan: Turkish security services have evidence that the murder was a planned affair. Turkey and the world will only be satisfied when all the planners and perpetrators are held to account. Other countries must participate in the investigation.
Erdoğan: Why was the 15-man Saudi team in Turkey? On whose orders? Why was the consulate not opened to investigators immediately? Why were so many different statements given by Saudis? Who is the local collaborator who disposed of Khashoggi’s body? Saudi must answer all these questions.
Erdoğan: significant that the Saudis have admitted Khashoggi was murdered. Those involved must face justice.
Erdoğan: evidence suggests Khashoggi was the victim of a “gruesome murder” and an atrocity that must not be covered up.
Erdoğan: Khashoggi’s death is an international issue – and one that Turkey will pursue.
Erdoğan: the consulate is on sovereign Turkish soil and the Geneva Convention cannot provide a shield of diplomatic immunity.
Erdoğan speaking about slanderous media campaigns against Turkey; but says country will not give in.