Pompeo Arrives In Turkey After Discussing Khashoggi Disappearance With Saudis

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18 October, 2018

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of Riyadh who left the country a year ago for the USA where he wrote for the Washington Post. Another member of the group identified by Turkish official media and appearing in the alleged passport scans is Muhammad Saad al-Zahrani, who has appeared on Saudi state TV alongside Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Completely ignoring the rapidly growing body of evidence implicating the Saudis in Khashoggi's murder, Trump went on to say that King Salaman "just sounded to me like he felt like he did not do it". "Answers will be forthcoming shortly", Trump said in a tweet.

How the crown prince, often referred to as MbS, emerges when the dust settles over Khashoggi's disappearance is a test of how the West will deal with Saudi Arabia in the future.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is greeted by Deputy Governor of Ankara Murat Soylu, in Ankara, Turkey.

Meanwhile, the consul general himself, Mohammed Otaibi, left Turkey on Tuesday, the semiofficial Anadolu news agency said.

US President Donald Trump pushed back on Tuesday (Oct 16) at global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the disappearance and suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying the kingdom deserved to be presumed innocent.

He hasn't been seen since entering that country's consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago, and multiple leaks to US media, based on Turkish intelligence, say he was killed by a Saudi hit squad and likely dismembered with a bone saw.

Despite Western concerns about Saudi Arabia's human rights record, Trump still says he is unwilling to pull out of weapons sales agreements with Riyadh.

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USA media outlets reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia will acknowledge Khashoggi was killed in a botched interrogation.

Sabah, a pro-government private newspaper in Turkey, last week listed 15 names alongside photographs of men who authorities believe were flown into Istanbul from Riyadh.

On Tuesday, G7 foreign ministers called for Saudi Arabia to conduct a "transparent" probe into the issue.

A Turkish official said on Tuesday the top Saudi diplomat's residence in Istanbul would also be searched.

But it was delayed because no Saudi official was present for the joint investigation, the Turkish official added.

Members of the US Congress, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans, are among the loudest voices in the United States demanding answers and action on Khashoggi, who moved to Washington previous year fearing retribution for his criticism of the crown prince.

Turkish officials have said privately that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate on October 2 after he arrived to obtain papers that would have allowed him to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. Samples, including soil from the garden and a metal gate, were reportedly taken. "I have to find out what happened", he said.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu have met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara who briefed them on his talks in Riyadh on Tuesday with Saudi leaders who deny any knowledge of the fate of prominent Saudi journalist and government critic, Jamal Khashoggi.


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