A former senior adviser to the U.S. government on Afghanistan on Friday praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for handling the case of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
President Erdogan has been extraordinarily clever in the way that he let out little piece of information slowly, Barnett Rubin, a South Asia expert from New York University, told Anadolu Agency.
Almost like they let the Saudis come up with all these ridiculous, false explanations -- and then he would come out with more information that shows they were not telling the truth, Rubin added.
He was in Istanbul to participate in the 5th Istanbul Mediation Conference.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post, was killed shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
After weeks of saying he had left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration later admitted he was killed there, blaming his death on a group of rogue Saudi operatives.
Rubin, who has also authored several books including Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror, said that he met Khashoggi when he was visiting Saudi Arabia in 1989 to give some lectures in the country.
The U.S. Consulate in Jeddah introduced me to Jamal, because he had been reporting about the Arab mujahideen who were fighting with Afghans, he said.
He was critical, but he was part of this Saudi establishment. You could hardly call him a dissident let alone a danger to the state. You know he did not organize a party, he had no following, he had no arms, just he had a voice, but he had a very strong voice, he added.
Recalling a recent U.S. legislation to stop U.S. assistance to the Saudis in the war in Yemen, Rubin said: I think there is a very widespread feeling among people Democrats and quite a few Republicans that [the U.S.] President [Donald] Trump's reaction is not just weak and rather shameful.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, thwarting efforts by the Trump administration to convince lawmakers to vote against it.
Source: Anadolu Agency