The United States has been accused by Turkey of trying to turn a blind eye to the murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul.
The Deputy Chairman of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, Numan Kurtulmus, made the accusation on Wednesday, in Istanbul where he also described the comments made by President Donald Trump on the issue as “comic”.
“Yesterday’s statement is a comic statement,’’ he told state broadcaster, TRT Haber.
“It is not possible for an intelligence agency such as the CIA, which even knows the colour of the fur on the cat walking around the Saudi consulate’s garden … to not know who gave this order.
“This is not credible either for U.S. public opinion or the world public opinion,’’ Kurtulmus said.
Trump had vowed on Tuesday to remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia.
He affirmed this despite saying that Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, may have known about the plan to murder Khashoggi.
The murdered journalist was a U.S. resident and Washington Post’s columnist.
Of the possibility that Prince Mohammed had a hand in the murder, Trump said: “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t’’.
His comments contradicted the CIA, which believes Khashoggi’s death was ordered directly by the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.
Since Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month, Turkey has repeatedly said the order came from the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.
Turkey has, however, not directly accused Prince Mohammed of engaging in the crime.
Saudi Arabia has denied that the crown prince ordered the killing.
After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh said last week Khashoggi had been killed and his body dismembered when “negotiations” to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.
Trump said Saudi Arabia, a major oil producer, was an important business partner and a “great ally” in the fight against Iranian power in the Middle East.