Pompeo sent to Saudi Arabia amid concerns over missing journalist

Pompeo sent to Saudi Arabia amid concerns over missing journalist

Reports in the USA media suggest that Saudi officials are set to admit that Mr Khashoggi was killed during an interrogation that went wrong, but neither King Salman, or his son and power behind the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed, had ordered Mr Khashoggi's death.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who has written for the Washington Post, was last seen walking into the consulate on 2 October.

But late Monday evening - after Turkish authorities placed high iron barriers in front of the consulate - a motorcade of six cars drew up and Turkish police and prosecutors entered the premises. Certain areas of the consulate were to remain off-limits, although officials would be able to inspect surveillance cameras, Turkish media reported.

Following a call with Saudi King Salman ー who vehemently denied any involvement in Khashoggi's suspected abduction ー Trump suggested to reporters on Monday that the kingdom may not be culpable.

Calling Khashoggi's disappearance a "terrible situation", he further said that the USA is working with Saudi Arabia and Turkey to figure out what happened.

One of the sources acknowledged that the report is still being prepared and cautioned that things could change.

"The government of Saudi Arabia owes the Khashoggi family and the world a full and honest explanation of everything that happened to him", Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, said in a statement Tuesday.

The three executives' companies have significant financial ties to Saudi Arabia. And that "it was in the hands of his son, the Crown Prince [Mohammad bin Salman]".

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Khashoggi has been a US resident since he went into self-imposed exile previous year over fear he could be arrested in Saudi Arabia. He met King Salman in the morning and was due to meet the Crown Prince later.

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations", said the statement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

"The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial worldwide commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death". Then, in August, Saudi leaders lashed out at Canada over a tweet criticizing their treatment of oppositionists-canceling flights, preventing Saudi students on government scholarship from studying at Canadian universities, and transferring sick Saudis from Canada's hospitals.

The White House is brushing aside threats by Saudi Arabia that it may economically retaliate for any US punitive action imposed over the suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, pledging a "swift, open, transparent investigation" into his disappearance.

A Saudi official, not authorized to speak publicly, told Reuters that the king had ordered an internal investigation based on information from the joint team in Istanbul. Turkish officials say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed. CNN reports saw investigators, including forensics officers, enter the building, where they stayed for nine hours before leaving.

Jamal Khashoggi went missing on October 2. As if to drive the point home, a cleaning crew with mops, trash bags and cartons of milk walked in, past journalists waiting outside the consulate on Monday.

Yahoo News then ran an article quoting someone close to Khashoggi who blamed Trump for the disappearance of his friend. "We'll wait and see, but rest assured that when the president says we will take actions if we find out bad outcomes, he means it".

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