Saudi economic forum opens but many absent over Khashoggi

The Future Investment Initiative will take place tomorrow but without key figures

ASSOCIATED PRESS In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi King Salman, right, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second right, receive Sahel, a family member, and Salah, a son, of Jamal Khashoggi, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.

Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate by Saudi agents on October 2.

After more than two weeks of vehemently denying Khashoggi was dead, the Saudi government on Saturday said he was killed in a fight inside the consulate and said the murder was not state-sanctioned.

Other senior German politicians, including foreign minister Heiko Maas and foreign affairs committee chairman Norbert Röttgen, have also called for a halt in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing dissatisfaction with Riyadh's explanation of how Khashoggi died inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But things changed since Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia in September 2017.

Omar Abdelaziz, a Saudi dissident activist now living in Canada, said he was collaborating on a number of campaigns with Khashoggi and that the latter had been attacked on Twitter by people he referred to as "electronic flies".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has directly accused Saudi Arabia of the premeditated murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling it a political killing orchestrated by Saudi officials. "Who are these people receiving orders from?"

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"As we all know these are hard days for us in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia", Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told attendees seated in an ornate hall during the opening of the conference in Riyadh.

Ahead of Erdogan's speech, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday that he was "not satisfied" with what he has heard, but that he expected to find out a lot more in the next few days.

An unnamed Saudi official told The New York Times earlier this month: "Mr Khashoggi visited the consulate to request paperwork related to his marital status and exited shortly thereafter". "Nobody in the Kingdom can justify or explain it".

On Monday, leaked surveillance video showed a man strolling out of the diplomatic post hours after Khashoggi disappeared into the consulate, apparently wearing the columnist's clothes as part of a macabre deception to sow confusion over his fate.

A Reuters witness said a Saudi team accompanied the Turkish investigators as they carried out the search in a auto park where the vehicle was found in Istanbul's Sultangazi district on Monday.

"We expressed see to it that the investigation is thorough and complete and the truth is revealed and those responsible will be held to account", al-Jubeir said at the joint news conference with his Indonesian counterpart.

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