Turkey's Erdogan, Saudi crown prince discuss steps to 'shed light' on journalist murder

Reuters , Wednesday 24 Oct 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan AP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday discussed steps to "shed light" on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in their first telephone conversation since the killing, a presidential source said.

Erdogan has far spoken twice on the phone with Saudi King Salman since Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and Riyadh critic, was killed inside the Saudi consulate on October 2, which he had visited to obtain documents for his marriage to a Turkish woman.

But Wednesday's telephone conversation was the first time he has spoken to the crown prince, known as MBS, who is seen as the driving force in day-to-day rule of the kingdom.

The two discussed "the issue of joint efforts and the steps that need to be taken in order to shed light on the Jamal Khashoggi murder in all its aspects," the source added.

The phone call was at the request of the prince, the presidential source noted.

After more than two weeks of vehement denials, Saudi Arabia asserted Saturday that the journalist was killed in a "brawl and fist fight" inside the country's consulate in Istanbul -- without revealing the whereabouts of his body.

Erdogan has never directly blamed Riyadh for the killing but vowed that Turkey would not allow the culprits to get away with the "savage murder".

"We are determined not to allow any cover up of this murder and for all those responsible -- from those who gave the command to those who executed it -- not to escape justice," he said on Wednesday.

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