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U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton met Monday with top Russian officials about President Donald Trump’s announced intention to pull out of a key Cold War arms deal with Moscow.

Bolton discussed the fate of the three-decade-old treaty in Moscow with Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev ahead of a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Bolton is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the U.S. decision “will make the world more dangerous.” He rebuffed the U.S. claim that Russia had violated terms of the agreement that bans the U.S. and Russia from building, testing, and stockpiling ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range from 500 to 5,000 kilometers.

“It is the United States that is eroding the foundations and main elements of this pact” with its missile defense systems and use of drones,” Peskov said.

The Kremlin spokesman said that if the United States goes on to develop new missiles, then Russia would be forced to respond in kind. He said Russian officials want to get more information about the U.S. plans regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in their talks with Bolton.

Trump has accused Russia of building and testing missiles that violate the 1987 treaty.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the deal with the late U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, at the White House in 1987.

“Do they really not understand in Washington what this could lead to?” Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Gorbachev as saying. “Washington’s desire to turn back politics cannot be supported. Not only Russia, but all those who cherish the world, especially a world without nuclear weapons, must declare this.”

Without specifying how Russia violated the treaty, Trump Saturday appeared to say Moscow will not get away with it.

“Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we are not allowed to,” he said.

U.S. officials going back to the Obama administration have accused Russia of deliberately deploying a land-based cruise missile to pose a threat to NATO.

Russia has denied violating the INF agreement and says U.S. missile defense systems are a violation.

Defense advocates in Washington say the INF treaty keeps the U.S. from developing a new generation of weapons in a world that faces new global security challenges.

Trump said, “We’ll have to develop those weapons, unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say let’s really get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons, but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it, and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable.”

China is not part of the INF agreement.

Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons — the coalition that won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize — said, “By declaring he will leave the INF Treaty, President Trump has shown himself to be a demolition man who has no ability to build real security. Instead, by blowing up nuclear treaties, he is taking the U.S. down a trillion-dollar road to a new nuclear arms race.”

Dmitry Oreshkin, an independent Russian political analyst, told the Associated Press, “We are slowly slipping back to the situation of Cold War, as it was at the end of the Soviet Union, with quite similar consequences, but now it could be worse because Putin belongs to a generation that had no war under its belt. These people aren’t as much fearful of a war as people of [former Soviet leader Leonid] Brezhnev’s epoch. They think if they threaten the West properly, it gets scared.”

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Turkish investigators are stepping up pressure on Riyadh over the killing of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepares to reveal key details about the case.

On Monday, CNN showed footage, leaked by Turkish investigators, of a man purported to be a double of Khashoggi wearing the journalist’s clothes leaving from a backdoor in the Saudi Istanbul consulate a few hours after Khashoggi entered the building on October 2.

Sources close to the investigation claim the double was part of a 15 member Saudi hit team that arrived and left the same day as Khashoggi’s killing.

Initially, Riyadh insisted Khashoggi left the consulate. On Friday that story changed with the Saudi government admitting he was accidentally killed in the consulate following a fight. Sunday, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said Khashoggi was murdered.

“By drip-feeding, the gory press details of Khashoggi’s murder, Turkey managed to keep interest alive and prevented a deal between Trump’s team and Mohammed bin Salman to hush the affair with little damage,” said analyst Atilla Yesilada of Global Source Partners.

A Western diplomat speaking anonymously suggested Turkey’s Intelligence chief Hakan Fidan is orchestrating the leaks to the media, thereby dictating the narrative and direction of the unfolding crisis to Turkey’s advantage.

“President Erdogan will make a profit again, making points both nationally and internationally,” said international relations professor Huseyin Bagci of Ankara’s Middle East Technical University.

Milking the crisis

Observers say Erdogan has been uncharacteristically restrained during the crisis, making few comments and not directly attacking Riyadh. That stance is set to change Tuesday, with the Turkish president promising to reveal what he calls the “naked truth” of the investigation.

“He is a political animal; he knows when to act instinctively,” Bagci said, “so he probably senses this is the right time to act.”

Ankara is starting to face growing international pressure to reveal its findings, especially numerous reports by anonymous sources of secret recordings of the last minutes of Khashoggi’s life.

Turkey’s Yeni Safak newspaper, which has close ties to the government, reported the recording of the torture, killing and dismembering of the body. Until now Erdogan has not commented on the existence of the recordings. But last week U.S. President Donald Trump called for the tapes.

Analysts suggest what Erdogan says Tuesday is likely to be dictated by the outcome of ongoing diplomatic talks.

“I don’t expect he [Erdogan] will break up his relations with Saudi Arabia. He will at the end have the same policy as Donald Trump,” Bagci said.

“Of course Saudi Arabia will have to pay” he added, “but I don’t know what. But Erdogan will use this situation for economic and political advantages for Turkey. They [Saudi Arabia Turkey] probably haven’t still agreed; they are still talking. I don’t know how the Saudi government can satisfy Turkish expectations — the president’s expectations.”

Turkey’s economy is facing recession after its currency collapsed this year.

Analysts warn the outcome of the talks could have far-reaching consequences.

“Riyadh will owe Turkey a favor, which shall be cashed in, in terms of investments, loans or probably a more pro-Turkey stance in Syria,” analyst Yesilada said.

“If Ankara wishes to shame Riyadh by releasing the evidence it claims to have, namely the grisly details of the journalist’s murder in the hands of a Saudi hit squad in the presence of the charge d’affaires to Istanbul, this affair could still spin out of control,” he said.

In a possible move to control the volatile diplomatic situation, Trump telephoned Erdogan on Monday.

“Erdogan and Trump agreed the Khashoggi case needs to be cleared up with all aspects.” wrote Turkey’s State Anadolu news agency.

Resetting US ties

“What we do not know yet is how Trump is planning to thank Erdogan for not escalating the Khashoggi crisis further,” wrote columnist Cansu Camlibel of Hurriyet Daily News.

“Whether or not Ankara will be granted generous waivers from the upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran, which aims to cut oil and gas imports from Tehran, is definitely a crucial part of the negotiations.”

Washington is set to impose tough financial and economic sanctions on November 4 over Tehran’s nuclear energy program. Turkey relies heavily on oil and gas from its neighbor and is lobbying for dispensation from the sanctions, which previous Washington administrations granted when targeting Iran.

U.S. Turkish relations are strained for several reasons, which resulted in Washington hitting Ankara with economic sanctions in August, triggering a collapse in the currency. However, this month’s release of American pastor Andrew Brunson by a Turkish court, a key Trump demand, has improved relations.

Analysts suggest Erdogan’s goal of resetting U.S .relations could eventually facilitate a diplomatic way out for Riyadh.

“Turkey is trying to improve relations with America,” said Bagci, “Turkey has had enough of economic and diplomatic crisis with America.”

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U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to pull out of a key Cold War arms deal with Russia, accusing Moscow of violating it.Here is some key information about the treaty.

What is the INF?

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which was signed in December 1987 by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, committed the two sides to eliminate all their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, along with missile launchers.

By the mid-1970s, the Soviet Union had deployed newly-developed SS-20 intermediate-range missiles aimed at Europe. The United States and its NATO allies responded with a “dual-track” policy of deploying intermediate-range, nuclear-armed U.S. ground-launched cruise and Pershing II missiles, while at the same time seeking an arms control agreement with the Soviet side. Negotiations began to bear fruit once Gorbachev became Soviet leader in March 1985.

The INF Treaty, which entered into force on June 1, 1988, originally applied only to U.S. and Soviet missiles. However, in 1991, following the break-up of the Soviet Union, the treaty was extended to cover former Soviet states, including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Other European countries, including Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Czech, Slovakia and Bulgaria, eventually also eliminated their stocks of intermediate-range missiles.

Why do some US and Russian officials oppose the treaty?

Russian officials have complained the INF Treaty was unfairly preventing it from having weapons that neighbors like China possess, and raised the possibility Russia could withdraw from the agreement.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials have accused Russia of developing and deploying a new ground-launched cruise missiles that violate the treaty.

Similarly, John Bolton, who is now President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, co-authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed published in August 2011 that cited China’s “rapidly increasing” cruise and ballistic missile arsenals, as well as the potential missile threat from Iran and North Korea, as evidence the INF Treaty had “outlived its usefulness in its current form.”

“Despite the Kremlin’s growing propensity for international troublemaking, both Moscow and Washington have a common interest in not having their hands tied by a treaty that binds them alone.” the op-ed stated.

Why do proponents say the treaty is worth keeping?

IMF Treaty supporters argue, among other things, that withdrawing from it strategically benefits Russia, since its geography is better suited for using such intermediate range missiles. They say there is no chance the U.S. will be able to redeploy intermediate-range missiles in Europe, nor in South Korea and Japan, where they would be most effective against American adversaries like North Korea.

They say withdrawing from the treaty essentially carries little to no strategic U.S. benefit, while giving Moscow a propaganda victory.

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The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul is unlikely to halt Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power, but could cause irreparable harm to relations with Western governments and businesses, potentially endangering his ambitious reform plans.

International outrage over Khashoggi’s Oct. 2 slaying at the hands of Saudi officials, under still-disputed circumstances, has marked the greatest crisis in the 33-year-old’s rapid rise, already tarnished by a catastrophic war in Yemen and a sweeping roundup of Saudi businessmen and activists.

The prince had hoped to galvanize world support for his efforts to revamp the country’s oil-dependent economy, but now the monarchy faces possible sanctions over the killing. Saudi Arabia has threatened to retaliate against any punitive action, but analysts say that wielding its main weapon — oil production — could backfire, putting the prince’s economic goals even further out of reach.

“The issue now is how Western governments coordinate a response and to what extent they wish to escalate this in a coordinated fashion,” said Michael Stephens, a senior research fellow who focuses on the Mideast at London’s Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies.

“Would financial sanctions be considered sufficient as to have sent a message to Saudi Arabia that this will never happen again?” Stephens added. “Some may feel this is inadequate, while others, like the Americans, may feel this is going too far.”

Senior aides close to the prince have been fired over Khashoggi’s killing, and 18 suspects have been arrested. But the prince himself, protected by his 82-year-old father, King Salman, has been tapped to lead a panel to reform the kingdom’s intelligence services, a sign he will remain next in line to the throne.

The king has the authority to change the line of succession — as he did when he appointed his son crown prince in the first place, upending the previous royal consensus.

But any direct challenge to Prince Mohammed’s succession “may be destabilizing for the kingdom as a whole,” said Cinzia Bianco, a London-based analyst for Gulf State Analytics. “Being young and being so close to his father, there is a chance that his behavior can be constrained with the influence of his father and other actors around the world,” Bianco said.

That only holds as long as King Salman remains in power. If Prince Mohammed ascends the throne, he could be in power for decades, longer than any other royal since the country’s founding in 1932, including its first monarch, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.

The firing and arrests announced by the kingdom appear to be at least an acknowledgement by the royal family of how serious the crisis has become.

“While it might be too early to evaluate the reaction of the international community, these moves might be read as a serious initial signal that the Saudi leadership is course correcting,” wrote Ayham Kamel, the head of Mideast and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group.

“Despite speculation that the crisis spells the end of Mohammad bin Salman, the recent announcements prove that the king still believes that the current line of succession is suitable.”

The Saudis’ greatest concern is the United States, a crucial military ally against archrival Iran and a key source of the kind of foreign investment they will need to reform the economy. A strong American response could encourage other Western countries to follow suit, further amplifying the crisis.

President Donald Trump has thus far sent mixed signals, vowing “severe punishment” over the death of the Washington Post columnist but saying he doesn’t want to imperil American arms sales to the kingdom.

Trump chose Saudi Arabia as his first overseas trip as president, and his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has developed close ties with Prince Mohammed, apparently seeing him as an ally in advancing his yet-to-be-released peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.

But even if the Saudis keep Trump on their side, they could face a reckoning from the U.S. Congress, where Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed outrage over the killing. Some have suggested using the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, which makes it possible to impose entry bans and targeted sanctions on individuals for committing human rights violations or acts of significant corruption.

Saudi Arabia last week threatened “greater action” if faced with sanctions. While no official has explained what that would entail, the general manager of a Saudi-owned satellite news channel suggested it could include weaponizing the kingdom’s oil production.

Forty-five years ago, Saudi Arabia joined other OPEC nations in an oil embargo over the 1973 Mideast war in retaliation for American military support for Israel. Gas prices soared, straining the U.S. economy.

But it’s unclear whether such a move would work in today’s economy. Saudi Arabia has been trying to claw back global market share, especially as Iran faces new U.S. oil sanctions beginning in November. Slashing oil exports would drain revenues needed for Prince Mohammed’s plans to diversify the economy, while a spike in oil prices could revive the U.S. shale industry and lead other countries to boost production.

“The Saudis have been very helpful by accelerating oil production, especially as sanctions on Iran ramp up,” said Kristin Diwan, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. “It would be very foolish of Saudi Arabia to forfeit the trust of the oil market earned over decades by injecting politics into their oil policy.”

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U.S. lawmakers of both political parties remain incredulous of Saudi Arabia’s explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared at the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey nearly three weeks ago. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.

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The governing populist party, which has repeatedly clashed with European Union institutions, was the top vote winner in local elections Sunday, according to an exit poll, but it was headed to lower support than it got in Poland’s 2015 parliamentary elections.

The Ispos survey said that in lower level elections for provincial assemblies, the ruling conservative Law and Justice party received the highest backing, with 32.3 percent. In the 2015 national elections it had almost 38 percent support.

Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said it was a “good result that bodes well for the future. It’s a good sign.” But he stressed that the exit poll result might differ from the official returns expected Tuesday or Wednesday.

In many ways it was a disappointing showing for the party, which has at times received more than 40 percent support in opinion polls.

Its drop in support comes despite generous government handouts and a booming economy and it suggests some Poles do not like the constant tensions with the EU, which has condemned an overhaul of the justice system by Law and Justice, calling it a systematic threat to the rule of law and inconsistent with democratic European values.

Opposition supporters said they hope this is a sign the tide is turning. Some commentators also suggested that this indicates the ruling party will not be able to win majority support in Poland and will have to find a way to coexist with the opposition.

A pro-EU opposition candidate won Warsaw’s mayoral race outright in the first round, according to the exit poll. Rafal Trzaskowski, a former European lawmaker and member of the Civic Platform party, garnered 51.4 percent support, which would mean he would become Warsaw mayor without having to take part in a Nov. 4 runoff.

Trzaskowski, whose party governed Poland for eight years before Law and Justice came to power in 2015, ran against the ruling party’s candidate, Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki. Jaki had attracted attention by heading a special commission for reversing housing decisions by the city’s Town Hall under Civic Platform.

In Gdansk, one of the sons of democracy icon Lech Walesa, Jaroslaw Walesa, had a disappointing result, only taking third place, and leaving two others to face off in the runoff Nov. 4. Lech Walesa, the founder of the Solidarity movement that confronted the communist regime in the 1980s, voted wearing a T-shirt with the word “Konstytucja” — or constitution — a popular sign of opposition to the ruling party.

Sunday’s elections were the first nationwide test of support for Law and Justice since it gained control of the national government. Its policies have produced street protests and repeated clashes with EU leaders.

Nationwide turnout was 51.3 percent, higher than in 2014, according to the exit poll, which questioned voters as they were leaving polling stations in 1,160 locations across Poland.

The election was for offices ranging from city mayors to village councilors. Law and Justice party was hoping to strengthen its firm grip on power, which has been buoyed by handing out social benefits and questioning how much authority the EU should have over member nations.

Campaigning targeted Poland’s largest cities — such as Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow, Wroclaw and Gdansk — which are traditionally pro-EU, and where the opposition is in control of local governments.

In Warsaw, in a rare sight, voters had to stand in lines at many voting stations to get their ballots. They said voter mobilization was very high in the race between the EU-skeptic and pro-EU main political forces.

“I have never seen so many people voting, this is a good thing. The question is will this be enough for (pro-EU Civic) Platform to keep power” in Warsaw, Aneta Benedyk said as she stood in line in southern Warsaw.

Poland’s local elections kick off a string of crucial votes that include the European Parliament vote in May, the national parliament vote in the fall of 2019 and Poland’s presidential election in the spring of 2020.

 

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As Saudi Arabia faced intensifying international skepticism over its story about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a senior government official laid out a new version of the death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that in key respects contradicts previous explanations.

The latest account, provided by a Saudi official who requested anonymity, includes details on how the team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Khashoggi on Oct. 2 had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and then killed him in a chokehold when he resisted. A member of the team then dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes to make it appear as if he had left the consulate.

After denying any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59, for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate. An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold, which the senior official reiterated.

Turkish officials suspect the body of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was dismembered, but the Saudi official said it was rolled up in a rug and given to a “local cooperator” for disposal. Asked about allegations that Khashoggi had been tortured and beheaded, he said preliminary results of the investigation did not suggest that.

The Saudi official presented what he said were Saudi internal intelligence documents that appeared to show the initiative to bring back dissidents as well as the specific one involving Khashoggi. He also showed testimony from those involved in what he described as the 15-man team’s cover-up, and the initial results of an internal probe. He did not provide proof to substantiate the findings of the investigation and the other evidence.

​Changing narratives

This narrative is the latest Saudi account that has changed multiple times. The authorities initially dismissed reports that Khashoggi had gone missing inside the consulate as false and said he had left the building soon after entering. When the media reported a few days later that he had been killed there, they called the accusations “baseless.”

Asked by Reuters why the government’s version of Khashoggi’s death kept changing, the official said the government initial account was based on “false information reported internally at the time.”

“Once it became clear these initial mission reports were false, it launched an internal investigation and refrained from further public comment,” the official said, adding that the investigation is continuing.

Turkish sources say the authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting Khashoggi’s murder inside the consulate but have not released it.

Riyadh dispatched a high-level delegation to Istanbul on Tuesday and ordered an internal investigation, but U.S. President Donald Trump said n Saturday he is not satisfied with Saudi Arabia’s handling of Khashoggi’s death and said questions remain unanswered. Germany and France on Saturday called Saudi Arabia’s explanation of how Khashoggi died incomplete.

​Latest version of events

According to the latest version of the death, the government wanted to convince Khashoggi, who moved to Washington a year ago fearing reprisals for his views, to return to the kingdom as part of a campaign to prevent Saudi dissidents from being recruited by the country’s enemies, the official said.

To that end, the official said, the deputy head of the General Intelligence Presidency, Ahmed al-Asiri, put together a 15-member team from the intelligence and security forces to go to Istanbul, meet Khashoggi at the consulate and try to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia.

“There is a standing order to negotiate the return of dissidents peacefully; which gives them the authority to act without going back to the leadership,” the official said. “Asiri is the one who formed the team and asked for an employee who worked with (Saud) al-Qahtani and who knew Jamal from the time they both worked at the embassy in London,” he said.

The official said Qahtani had signed off on one of his employees conducting the negotiations.

​Chokehold 

According to the plan, the team could hold Khashoggi in a safe house outside Istanbul for “a period of time” but then release him if he ultimately refused to return to Saudi Arabia, the official said.

Things went wrong from the start as the team overstepped their orders and quickly employed violence, the official said.

Khashoggi was ushered into the consul general’s office where an operative named Maher Mutreb spoke to him about returning to Saudi Arabia, according to the government’s account. Khashoggi refused and told Mutreb that someone was waiting outside for him and would contact the Turkish authorities if he did not reappear within an hour, the official said.

Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, has told Reuters he had handed her his two mobile phones and left instructions that she should wait for him and call an aide to Turkey’s president if he did not reappear.

Back inside the consul’s office, according to the official’s account, Khashoggi told Mutreb he was violating diplomatic norms and said, “What are you going to do with me? Do you intend to kidnap me?”

Mutreb replied, “Yes, we will drug you and kidnap you,” in what the official said was an attempt at intimidation that violated the mission’s objective.

When Khashoggi raised his voice, the team panicked. They moved to restrain him, placing him in a chokehold and covering his mouth, according to the government’s account.

“They tried to prevent him from shouting but he died,” the official said. “The intention was not to kill him.”

Asked if the team had smothered Khashoggi, the official said: “If you put someone of Jamal’s age in this position, he would probably die.”

Where is his body?

To cover up their misdeed, the team rolled up Khashoggi’s body in a rug, took it out in a consular vehicle and handed it over to a “local cooperator” for disposal, the official said.

Forensic expert Salah Tubaigy tried to remove any trace of the incident, the official said.

Turkish officials have told Reuters that Khashoggi’s killers may have dumped his remains in Belgrad Forest adjacent to Istanbul, and at a rural location near the city of Yalova, 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Istanbul.

Turkish investigators are likely to find out what happened to the body “before long,” a senior official said.

The Saudi official said the local cooperator is an Istanbul resident but would not reveal his nationality. The official said investigators were trying to determine where the body ended up.

Meanwhile, operative Mustafa Madani donned Khashoggi’s clothes, eyeglasses and Apple watch and left through the back door of the consulate in an attempt to make it look as if Khashoggi had walked out of the building. Madani went to the Sultanahmet district where he disposed of the belongings.

The official said the team then wrote a false report for superiors saying they had allowed Khashoggi to leave once he warned that Turkish authorities could get involved and that they had promptly left the country before they could be discovered.

​Many questions

Skeptics have asked why so many people, including military officers and a forensics expert specializing in autopsies, were part of the operation if the objective was to persuade Khashoggi to return home of his own volition.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, a Saudi insider turned critic, has snowballed into a massive crisis for the kingdom, forcing the 82-year-old monarch, King Salman, to personally get involved. 

It has threatened the kingdom’s business relationships, with several senior executives and government officials shunning an investor conference in Riyadh scheduled for next week and some U.S. lawmakers putting pressure on Trump to impose sanctions and stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The official said all 15 team members had been detained and placed under investigation, along with three other local suspects.

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The official Saudi statements on the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have changed several times since he mysteriously disappeared after entering his country’s consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

The latest announcement on Saturday, declaring that Khashoggi had died in a “fistfight” with officials who had gone to see him there, increased criticism of the Saudis’ handling of the case and concern about the kingdom’s possible complicity in the killing of the prominent Washington Post columnist.

Here is a look at the Saudi narrative regarding Khashoggi, as it developed.

Oct. 2: Khashoggi enters the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul at 1.14 p.m. He had left his mobile phones with his Turkish fiancee, who waited for him outside the consulate. She calls friends hours later to tell them that Khashoggi never emerged from the consulate.

Oct. 3: In a wide-ranging interview, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman tells Bloomberg he understands that Khashoggi left the consulate after “a few minutes or one hour.” Bin Salman says his kingdom’s authorities are in talks with the Turkish government to determine what happen. He insists Khashoggi is no longer inside the consulate and says Turkish authorities are welcome to search the diplomatic mission. “We have nothing to hide,” says the crown prince.

Oct. 4: On Twitter, the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul says it is following up on media reports of Khashoggi’s disappearance “after he left the building.” 

Oct. 4: Turkey summons the Saudi ambassador.

Oct. 6: Saudi Arabia says it has dispatched a team to “investigate and cooperate” with Turkish officials over Khashoggi’s case.

Oct. 7: Turkish officials say Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate. A Saudi government statement describes the Turkish allegations as “baseless.”

Oct. 9: Turkey says it will search the consulate.

Oct. 11: Turkey says it has agreed with Saudi Arabia to form a joint group to shed light on the journalist’s fate. The Saudi team arrives in Istanbul a day later.

Oct. 13: Saudi Arabia’s interior minister describes claims in the media that there were “orders to kill [Khashoggi]” as “lies and baseless allegations.” Turkish media quote officials as saying Khashoggi has been killed and dismembered inside the consulate.

Oct. 14: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry renews calls on Saudi Arabia to allow investigators to search the consulate.

Oct. 15: Nearly two weeks after Khashoggi’s disappearance, teams of Turkish investigators enter the consulate to start their search.

Oct. 15: A Saudi-owned satellite news channel says the 15-member team referred to by Turkish media as Khashoggi’s “hit squad” were “tourists” visiting Turkey.

Oct. 16: Without warning, the Saudi consul in Istanbul, a key witness in the case, leaves Turkey for Saudi Arabia.

Oct. 17: Turkish authorities begin searching the consul’s residence in Istanbul.

Oct. 19: In an announcement early Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor says preliminary investigations show an “altercation” and “fistfight” led to Khashoggi’s death shortly after he arrived at the consulate. He adds that 18 Saudi nationals were detained. A Saudi Foreign Ministry official says the kingdom is investigating the “regrettable and painful incident of Jamal Khashoggi’s death” and is forming a committee to hold those responsible accountable.

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