Trump Nominates Retired Army General John Abizaid as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Erdogan says it is clear the order for Khashoggi's murder came from the top level of Saudi authorities

Members of the kill squad that purportedly murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi carried tools that could have been used in the killing as they departed from Istanbul to Saudi Arabia on October 2, the Turkish daily Sabah reported on Wednesday.

Turkey has reiterated a call for Saudi Arabia to extradite 18 suspects accused of taking part in the assassination of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The NYT report adds that the person making the phone call is Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a security officer who frequently travels with the prince.

On Monday, speaking from Paris, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that his country's intelligence services had listened to the audio, although he says that he personally had not heard the tapes.

The Wall Street Journal reported Bolton told reporters Tuesday he had not heard the recording from Turkey but US officials have drawn no conclusions on it connecting Saudi Arabia's defacto day-to-day leader to the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, who was a contributor to The Washington Post.

The luggage contained 10 phones, five walkie-talkies, intercoms, two syringes, two defibrillators, a jamming device, staplers, and scissors, the paper reported.

Turkey had initially prioritised cooperation with Saudi Arabia, and Riyadh last month dispatched its chief prosecutor to Istanbul for talks with Turkish authorities and to examine the consulate - scene of the murder.

"The crown prince says 'I will clarify the matter, I will do what is necessary".

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Khashoggi, a Saudi insider-turned-critic and Washington Post columnist, was murdered at his country's consulate in Istanbul on 2 October in an operation Saudi Arabia has since admitted was premeditated.

"We are reviewing our arms sales to Saudi Arabia in view of this killing and, obviously, during this period of review no new arms export permits will be signed", Freeland said in Windsor, Ont.

"We have shown the evidence to all those who wanted to see", Cavusoglu told the Turkish parliament.

He was killed by a 15-man hit squad sent from Riyadh.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said he did not think that people who heard the recordings concluded that the crown prince was linked to the killing. Ankara insists the orders for the killing came from the highest levels of the Saudi government, but not King Salman.

Gerald Feierstein, a former US ambassador to Yemen and now a senior director the Middle East Institute said General Abizaid's nomination will allow for real diplomatic oversight in US-Saudi relations after a two-year vacancy allowed other parties to undermine the traditional policy channels led by the State Department.

Saudi officials said the Turks have not provided audio to them that includes the phrase "tell your boss".

The nomination of retired General John Abizaid to be the 31st US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia has been received with a sense of optimism in Washington as an overdue step by the Trump administration to revive US influence and restore diplomacy with Riyadh.

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