Today, Thursday, a Turkish court took a move that analysts considered a courtesy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As a prelude to close reconciliation with Saudi Arabia, where its decisions are attached to the Khashoggi case file.
In this context, Turkish media reported that a Turkish court is trying in absentia 26 Saudis suspected of involvement in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. She refused to include the intelligence report issued by America recently and confirming that the Saudi crown prince “authorized” the operation, to the investigation file in the case.
Khashoggi’s fiancée demanded to include the report
In the details, Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancé, Hatice Cengiz, demanded in the third session of this absentee trial that is taking place in Istanbul. Including this report in the case file, according to an AFP journalist.
However, the president of the court rejected this request on the grounds that the report “will not benefit the court in anything.”
At the same time, he confirmed that “Genghis” can renew its request to the public prosecutor responsible for the case.
After the hearing, Genghis said that the US report “places direct responsibility on the crown prince.” Therefore, we want the court to take it into account. ”
For his part, the representative of the non-governmental organization “Reporters Without Borders” in Turkey, “Erol Onderoglu”, who attended the session, said. “If the American report was added to the case, it could provide new data in the pursuit of justice.”
And he continued denouncing the court’s decision: “But we can say that the court today took a somewhat negative attitude.”
To that, the court heard in the session, which was held, on Thursday, to two witnesses, a Turkish driver and a security guard working in the Saudi consulate.
The driver, Adib Yilmaz, said that on the day of the crime, the consulate security official locked him in a room with his colleagues and prevented them from leaving until he told them to do so.
“It gave me the impression that something abnormal was happening,” he added.
It is noteworthy that relations between Ankara and Riyadh had deteriorated greatly after the murder.
But Turkey, which is seeking to calm its relations with Saudi Arabia, declined to comment on the US report.
And last Friday, the American President raisedOf the bygonesThe secrecy of an intelligence report that concluded that the Saudi crown prince “authorized” the killing of “Khashoggi” in 2018.
The report confirmed that 15 Prime Time Zone were dispatched to target “Khashoggi” in Turkey.
Among them are the “elite members of the crown prince’s personal protection team”.
This is in reference to the Rapid Intervention Forces that were formed to protect the Crown Prince and act according to his orders only.
Last month, the American “Bloomberg” agency revealed in a report what it described as a possible close reconciliation between Turkey on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the other hand.
This came after the relationship between Ankara and the two Gulf states was greatly strained throughout the Trump administration.
In this context, the agency quoted sources it described as well-informed, at the time, that Saudi Arabia and the UAE began initial moves to improve relations with Turkey.
What could benefit the fields of trade and security in the Middle East. According to Bloomberg.
The sources added that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are studying the possibility of improving relations with Turkey, as part of initial steps against the backdrop of tensions and a long-term struggle for influence.
While the US agency report suggested that this reconciliation would falter, due to Ibn Zayed and Bin Salman’s demand for Erdogan to give up support for the “Muslim Brotherhood” group.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE classify the Brotherhood as a terrorist group and prohibit its activities.
But even limited progress – according to Bloomberg – could ease tensions over broader regional issues.
Especially since these developments come after the reconciliation between Qatar and the blockading countries, after a crisis that has exceeded 3 years.
Doha may help in and complete this reconciliation, as it is a close ally of Turkey in the region.
It also coincides with the transfer of power in the United States to the administration of the new president, Joe Biden.
Which is expected to follow a tougher approach towards Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Remove barriers to trade
For its part, “Bloomberg” reported that a Turkish official told her that Turkey and the UAE had discussed removing barriers to trade between them.
He added that the proposals stimulated the recent decision to resume flights between Ankara and Abu Dhabi, which had been previously stopped by the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the US Agency, a person familiar with the position of the Gulf states described these developments as “the process in its early stages.”
The issue of the “Brotherhood” is pivotal
He added that the “Muslim Brotherhood” issue is central to the concerns of the Arab Gulf states and to their close ally Sisi in Egypt.
Turkish officials denied, on the other hand, that there was direct or indirect contact from Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. It included demands to change Ankara’s policy towards the Brotherhood.
But at the same time they realize that this is a priority for the Arab Gulf states, even if there is little room for diplomacy in this regard.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE view the group as destabilizing in the region.
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