Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pompeo to meet Saudi crown prince on missing journalist

Pompeo to meet Saudi crown prince on missing journalist

On Friday, a source familiar with the ongoing investigation told CNN that Turkish authorities have audio and visual evidence that showed Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate. The official did not provide details on the evidence that was recovered during the hourslong search at the diplomatic mission that ended early Tuesday.

In Istanbul, a team of Turkish police investigating Khashoggi's disappearance has left the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul on Tuesday.

A senior Turkish source revealed to MEE last week that Khashoggi was lured into the consul-general's office after he entered the consulate, before being dragged into another room and murdered.

On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters he still plans to attend the Riyadh investment summit; however, the president said Monday it was possible the USA would not attend, but that no decision had been as yet.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to speculate on what Trump might do after the president promised "severe punishment" in a "60 Minutes" interview, if the US determines that Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a hasty trip to Saudi Arabia Monday to meet with King Salman.

Trump tweeted, "Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened 'to our Saudi Arabian citizen'". It took 13 days for Saudi authorities to allow Turkish Investigators access to the consulate for investigation.

Pompeo met on Tuesday with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud in the Saudi capital and financial hub of Riyadh.

The official did not say when the search of the consul's home would take place.

Turkey's government has contacted USA officials, suggesting that they have the required video and audio proof to validate that the missing Saudi Arabian writer and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a Saudi government-backed gang in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The New York Times and The Washington Post have reported, citing anonymous sources, that Saudi officials may soon acknowledge Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate but blame it on a botched intelligence operation.

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But the U.S. president also said "rogue killers" could be behind the disappearance and that King Salman had told him Saudi Arabia is "working closely with Turkey to find answers".

Turkish police officers gather as they prepare to enter the Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. He said he has always been a staunch defender of Saudi Arabia on the Senate floor as a "good ally" of the United States.

Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation "baseless", but USA media reports suggest the Saudis may soon acknowledge Khashoggi was killed there, perhaps as part of a botched interrogation.

Investigators, wearing white crime-scene overalls and shoe covers, entered the Istanbul residence of the Saudi consul general, Mohammed al-Otaibi, who has returned to Riyadh.

"Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MbS knowing it", he said in an interview with Fox News.

Asked what Trump should do earlier in the day, Graham said, "It's up to him", adding: "I know what I'm going to do, I'm going to sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia".

He questioned why the crown prince would put Saudi Arabia's strong backers, especially Trump, in a bad spot and said, "This guy's gotta go".

The kingdom has not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press.

While much of what was discussed has yet to be announced, the US State Department said that Mr Pompeo had used the time to thank the king for his "commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation" into Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

The incident has sparked a major diplomatic crisis between the USA and Saudi Arabia.

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