Netanyahu refers to Saudi's regional power after Khashoggi murder

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the order to murder Jamal Khashoggi came from "the highest levels" of the Saudi government Friday as he promised no let-up in the hunt for his killers.

Pompeo, in an interview with KMOX radio in St. Louis, said President Donald Trump had made it clear Washington would respond to the killing.

The outcry in the US demonizing Saudi Arabia over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul threatens US-Saudi strategic ties, the former Saudi intelligence chief warned on Wednesday.

He had become a sharp critic of the Saudi government and of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been pioneering an ambitious economic and social reform programme in the country.

The Independent UK reports that Aktay said the Saudi journalist's body was first cut up into pieces, to make it easier to dissolve, after he was strangled upon entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

The phone call is reported to have taken place on 9 October, a week after Khashoggi disappeared.

"It's not clear how long that's going to continue, but right now Saudi Arabia is, if not exactly an global pariah, at least a tainted entity", Ibish told AFP.

"Absolutely false - the White House had no knowledge of our coming and we conveyed no messages from the White House or to the White House", Moore told the Washington Post.

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Nicholas Heras, an analyst at the Center for a New American Security, said the Khashoggi case was the "latest chapter in Turkey and Saudi Arabia's ongoing contest over which country is better" to lead the Muslim world.

Turkey is seeking the extradition of 18 suspects so they can be put on trial in Turkey.

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee, on Friday pleaded for the remains to be returned for proper burial.

Bitar noted that the United States administration relies on Prince Mohammed's support for any possible peace plan for the Israel-Palestinian conflict as well as containing Iran, long a Saudi foe.

He said Khashoggi's close friends and family had urged activists to protest "in key states that are close to the Saudi regime and giving them diplomatic cover. In other words, we did not get the impression that they were keen on genuinely cooperating with the investigation", the official said. The Saudis, who have learned the fine art of public relations and media management since their ill orchestrated and poorly managed oil embargo against the West some four plus decades ago, have maintained that politics and economics will remain separate, in essence that even if sanctions are taken against them over the killings of Khashoggi it would not impact their oil production.

We therefore respectfully call on you to immediately authorize an independent, global investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi that would lay the groundwork for identifying and holding accountable the perpetrators of this grievous crime.

Trump has condemned Khashoggi's killing in strong terms but has also defended USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which is the biggest foreign customer for American weaponry. "This case can not be covered up, and we are expecting close cooperation from Saudi authorities on the investigation we are conducting transparently and meticulously", Turkey's Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul told reporters on Thursday.

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