Khashoggi murder 'must concern us all': Mattis to regional forum

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets relatives of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a handout

Saudi Arabia's slow shift to reveal more details about the killing also reflects the kingdom's acknowledgement that the killing could have a serious diplomatic, and possibly economic impact.

Khashoggi's son was previously unable to leave Saudi Arabia after his passport was restricted by the kingdom some months ago, reported CNN. He was speaking in response to questions from Western journalists at an annual conference of worldwide officials, including U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis, in Bahrain. "When people can speak and be heard calling for peace and respect for all, the terrorist message of hatred and violence is not embraced".

Saudi Arabia has returned suspects to Turkey before. The Middle East is struggling to cope with brutal conflicts in Syria and Yemen, a political divide between Gulf nations and Qatar and what Mattis described as malign activity from Iran emanating across the region. "Failure of any one nation to adhere to worldwide norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most".

Saudi officials initially denied having anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance after he entered the consulate, before announcing that an internal inquiry suggested he was killed by mistake in a botched operation to return him to the kingdom.

"This issue has become fairly hysterical", Jubeir said.

Hatice Cengiz, who is Turkish, also said in an interview on Turkish television channel HaberTurk: "I found myself in a darkness I can not express".

"We have made clear that we are going to have a full and transparent investigation, the results of which will be released".

Khashoggi lived in self-imposed exile in the USA for the past year and wrote editorial columns for The Washington Post that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's heir apparent. "We know that people exceeded their authority and we know that we're investigating them", he said.

Al-Jubeir appeared to rejected that notion.

Turkey said on Friday it wanted Saudi Arabia to extradite 18 Saudis it has arrested over Khashoggi's murder.

Hatice Cengiz, who is Turkish, also said in an interview on Turkish television channel HaberTurk on Friday that she continually asks herself questions about October 2, the day that Khashoggi entered the consulate and was killed by officials there.

Turkey's judicial system is better equipped to serve the cause of justice in this case, the official said, adding: "The court proceedings in Turkey will be open to worldwide observers in order to ensure the greatest level of transparency".

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan urged Saudi Arabia on Friday to disclose who ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, as well as the location of his body, heightening worldwide pressure on the kingdom to come clean on the case.

The Saudi journalist and author, who contributed to the columns to The Washington Post, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to pick up paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée.

"If you can not get them to speak ... then hand them over to us and let us put them on trial", he added.

Turkish prosecutors want the suspects to face prosecution for "premeditated killing executed with fiendish sentiments or by causing torment", according to the Anadolu agency.

Saudi officials have sought to contain the damage of the resulting scandal by arresting a number of Saudis, firing senior officials and restructuring the nation's intelligence agencies.

Al-Jubeir addressed the mounting skepticism around the crown prince's alleged involvement.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir, who spoke after Mattis at the conference, said hysterical media are rushing to judgment in the Khashoggi case.

Mattis also later talked about America's shared interests with its Arab and Israeli partners, adding that "our respect for the Saudi people is undiminished".

Ms Merkel also again said that Saudi Arabia has to ensure access for humanitarian aid to get into Yemen, which has been ravaged by a three-and-a-half-year war between the Saudi-led alliance and Shite rebels.

"I reiterate US support for our partners' right to defend themselves against Iranian-supplied Houthi attacks on their sovereign territory, and at the same time, call for an urgent end to the fighting", he said.

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