Saudi Arabia’s Complicated Troubles

| Ambassador Gary Grappo
Gary Grappo
Former U.S. Ambassador to Oman

Demands for answers about what happened to journalist Jamal Khashoggi are increasing, as sources tell The Cipher Brief that the U.S. Administration is trying work out its next moves. 

Turkish authorities say Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul a week ago.  The Saudi government is denying any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

President Donald Trump has said that his Administration is pressing the Saudi government for more information about what happened, telling reporters, “We’re demanding everything.” 

Meanwhile, a bi-partisan group of Senators sent a letter to the President on Wednesday asking for an investigation into whether or not sanctions should be imposed on Saudi Arabia, if in fact, the reports of Khashoggi’s muder are verified.

Cipher Brief Expert Gary Grappo is a former U.S. ambassador and former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh.  We asked him to comment on Khashoggi’s disappearance, and as part of a broader piece on Riyadh, we also asked his thoughts on recent Saudi moves to jail and marginalize clerics, as well as what he sees within the next 12 months on the likely outcome of the Qatar crisis.

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The Author is Gary Grappo

Gary Grappo is a former U.S. ambassador who held senior positions including Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State, he served as Envoy and Head of Mission of the Office of the Quartet Representative, the Honorable Mr. Tony Blair, in... Read More

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