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Netanyahu refers to Saudi's regional power after Khashoggi murder

Netanyahu refers to Saudi's regional power after Khashoggi murder

In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Friday, Erdogan says: "we must reveal the identities of the puppet masters behind Khashoggi's killing".

"We know that the perpetrators are among the 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia", he wrote in the Washington Post, where Khashoggi had written a column.

"According to the latest information we have, the reason they cut up the body is it was easier to dissolve it", said Aktay, an adviser to President Erdogan who was close to Khashoggi. "Unfortunately, the Saudi authorities have refused to answer those questions", he said.

The story was undercut by footage, which Erdogan confirmed, of a Saudi official acting as a body double for Khashoggi, wearing the journalist's clothes when leaving the consulate to pretend to be the dead man.

Germany and Switzerland have vowed to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia until the case is clarified.

Netanyahu said at a news conference that Iran is a bigger threat than Saudi Arabia and those who want to punish the Middle East kingdom need to bear that in mind.

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The US also fears regional stability could deteriorate if Saudi Arabia's royal court is thrust into a power struggle, a rationale for maintaining support for Mohammed, despite ongoing concerns about his lack of experience and impulsive decisions.

"It gives leverage to Turkey to be used by Erdogan, but it's not something very ideological or something that will cost him his principles".

After at first denying the murder, Saudi officials eventually admitted he had been killed in the consulate, blaming a "rogue operation" and arresting 18 people.

"I do not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit on Khashoggi", Erdogan wrote.

He said the consulate was equipped with cameras but they did not record footage, so no images could be retrieved of Khashoggi entering or leaving the consulate, which is ringed by police barriers and has high-security fences topped with barbed wire.

"This pressured the Saudis to accept the fact that this was a premeditated murder".

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This was the first time this detail has been mentioned.

But his article made no mention of the king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seen as the kingdom's de-facto ruler.

"There's only one lie left to be addressed and that's the involvement of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia himself", Connolly said.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made the allegation during a phone call with US President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and another official, the Washington Post reports.

Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported that he had boarded a plane back to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, having met with the Istanbul chief prosecutor twice.

A Turkish prosecutor said earlier this week that investigators believe the journalist was immediately strangled on entering the consulate, in a murder planned in advance.

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Other members included Johnnie Moore; author Joel Rosenberg; former US congresswoman Michele Bachmann; Jerry A. Johnson of the National Religious Broadcasters; Michael Little, formerly of the Christian Broadcasting Network; writer Mike Evans; New Mexico pastor Skip Heitzig; and former NRB CEO Wayne Pederson.