Ankara | Turkey on Friday said President Donald Trump intended to turn a “blind eye” to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder after he said Washington’s ties with Riyadh would not be affected by the incident.
“In one sense, Trump is saying ‘I will turn a blind eye’,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with CNN Turk broadcaster, referring to Trump’s continued support for Saudi Arabia, which has committed to billions of dollars in US weapons contracts.
Trump’s backing comes despite global outrage over the grisly killing that has tarnished the image of the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS.
Trump on Tuesday glossed over the Central Intelligence Agency’s reported conclusion that the the crown prince had authorised the killing. “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said, implying Prince Mohammed’s culpability in Khashoggi’s killing in the diplomatic compound.
Trump was widely pilloried for what critics called his mercantile priorities that made him appear more like a lobbyist for Riyadh, raising the prospect of strong congressional action against Saudi Arabia.