Rumours rippled across the kingdom of other extravagances. Yet, more often than not, USA and Saudi leaders have been able to walk this relationship tightrope together without either slipping or falling off.
Responding to Al-Arabiya's claim that the family was confident in Saudi authorities' handling of the case, Middle East Institute analyst Randa Slim and others noted that Khashoggi's family members had been subjected to travel bans and were still inside the kingdom ― very much within the reach of Saudi officials. He left the country previous year for the United States fearing retribution from the kingdom which has recently witnessed widespread crackdown on dissent.
Khashoggi had asked for a document needed to remarry in Turkey, Tamimi said, and the consular staff "were surprised and said, yes, we will do it for you, but there is no time, and they agreed he will come back on Tuesday".
A Turkish security source also told Reuters on Saturday that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, arrived in Turkey onboard two planes on the same day of Khashoggi's disappearance.
Khashoggi, a 59-year-old veteran journalist who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since Prince Mohammed's rise to power, disappeared October 2 while on a visit to the consulate to get paperwork done to be married to his Turkish fiancée.
"MBS's downsizing and relative humbling of the House of Saud is welcome news". Not only was Khashoggi a peaceful and responsible voice of reform, but as a US resident, he was living under the de facto protection of United States. It has also raised tensions between regional rivals, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Ms Cengiz wrote in a Twitter post that included a photo of Mr Khashoggi.
Khashoggi went on to write that despite progressive promises by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, "all I see now is the recent wave of arrests", which "represents the public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to express opinions contrary to those of my country's leadership". The Saudi media ran Mattis's statement and quoted him with great enthusiasm but selectively omitted the portion that stated American support was "not unconditional" and that he urged Saudi authorities to "do everything humanly possible to avoid any innocent loss of life". USA silence in the face of such behavior may have partly induced Mohammed bin Salman into thinking that he could act against Khashoggi with impunity. "To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison". The Reagan administration preserved USA alliances and partnerships with countries such as South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Chile while also encouraging them-sometimes quietly and sometimes loudly-along the path to democratic transitions. There are at least seven of us, are we going to be the core of a Saudi diaspora?
In a meeting with The Washington Post's publisher, Fred Ryan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States said Sunday night that it was "impossible" that such a crime could be covered up by consulate employees "and we wouldn't know about it". This followed a lengthy internal dispute within the department, with the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs parroting the predictable line that sanctioning a close ally would be counterproductive and hurt other USA interests while not leading to any improvements in religious freedom. His "modernization" steps are modest - like allowing women to drive. Meanwhile, important U.S. -Saudi cooperation continued in areas such as counterterrorism, energy, and regional security, relatively untrammeled by the designation.
US President Donald Trump and his administration have not commented on the fate of Khashoggi but a top Senate ally of Trump warned of a "devastating" impact on the US alliance with Saudi Arabia if allegations are confirmed.
Regardless, the United States should explore some retaliatory measures that impose real costs on Riyadh.
"Deputy foreign minister Sedat Onal invited Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the Ministry yesterday". He was a fierce critic of the Saudi regime.