According to a report by A Haber, a nationwide television channel in Turkey, on Thursday, the Turkish leader does not intend to meet with the Saudi crown prince and the kingdom’s de facto ruler during the 13th meeting of Group of Twenty, which is to be held in Buenos Aires from November 30 to December 1.
The report came a few hours after the state-owned Anadolu news agency quoted Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin as saying that the meeting between the two “could happen”, Presstv Reported.
Khashoggi, 59, a one-time royal insider who had been critical of the crown prince recently, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Following weeks of denial of any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, the Saudi regime eventually acknowledged the “premeditated” murder, but has sought to distance the heir to the Saudi throne from the assassination.
A Saudi prosecutor later said Khashoggi’s body had been dismembered, removed from the diplomatic mission and handed to an unidentified “local cooperator.”
Furthermore, a recent report by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said that the spy agency had concluded that bin Salman had been behind the gruesome crime.
However, in a lengthy statement issued on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump, who had not endorsed the CIA assessment, expressed his support for Saudi Arabia amid international condemnations of the murder, which Ankara says has been ordered by the highest ranks of authorities in the kingdom.
Trump claimed there was “nothing definitive” linking the crown prince to the murder despite the CIA assessment.
Turkish paper: CIA's Khashoggi recording incriminates bin Salman
Meanwhile, Turkey's English-language Hurriyet Daily News newspaper quoted CIA Director Gina Haspel that the agency had a recording of a phone call, in which the crown prince gave instructions to his brother Khaled bin Salman to “silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible.”
The brothers are reportedly heard talking about the “discomfort” caused by the Washington Post columnist's criticism of the kingdom’s administration.
Additionally on Thursday, the European Union’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini said during a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara that all those “really responsible” for the “terrible” murder of ill-fated Khashoggi had to be held accountable, calling for a “completely transparent and credible investigation.”
France slaps sanctions on 18 Saudis over Khashoggi case
In a relevant development, the French Foreign Ministry released a statement, saying that Paris would impose sanctions against 18 Saudi citizens over the killing of Khashoggi.
"These measures ... aim to prohibit these individuals from entering national territory and the entire Schengen area" of Europe, the statement said, adding, "They are conservative measures, subject to review or extension based on the findings of the investigation under way."