Pompeo meets Saudi royal family to discuss Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Ismael LynchOct 17, 2018

He said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - who has been linked to suspects allegedly involved in the murder - denied knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi in a phone call.

Khashoggi vanished after entering the consulate for official documents ahead of his upcoming wedding to his Turkish fiancee.

Istanbul believes he was murdered by Saudi agents as he entered the building, but Riyadh has denied this.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that a suspect identified by Turkey was a frequent companion of the prince's.

According to the newspaper, one of the men has been photographed accompanying the royal on his foreign visits.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against any threats to exert economic sanctions or political pressure on the kingdom, saying it will respond with greater action given the kingdom's outsized role in the global economy.

Meanwhile, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has become the latest high-profile figure to withdraw from a major Saudi investment conference next week following Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

In a statement issued by the State Department, Pompeo said he had met with the Saudi king, the crown prince and the foreign minister during his stay in Saudi Arabia Tuesday "to determine what happened to Khashoggi".

What has Prince Mohammed said?

Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator and confidant of the U.S. president, said he wanted to "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia" and pointed the finger at its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman - known by his initials "MBS".

Graham, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and often golfs with Trump, did note it was "up to the president" to decide on the US response.

Trump had asked Pompeo to also travel to Turkey to meet with senior leaders, the USA secretary of state added.

If U.S. President Donald Trump fails to punish Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's disappearance, he hopes that others in government will. "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia for meetings with bin Salman. This guy is a wrecking ball. "If they knew about it, that would be bad".

Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi national and ordinarily lives in the US.

"However, there are some findings and they are being worked on", he said, adding that painting may have damaged some evidence. The Saudi government could not be reached immediately for comment on the CNN report.

Hence the urgent dispatching of the USA secretary of state for talks with the Saudi leadership.

The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the Saudi plans, reported the crown prince had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

What is the state of investigation?

Police put up barricades around the consul's official residence Tuesday night. "Two weeks on, I'm shocked that we don't have more answers and accountability for what might have transpired there that day".

Tubaigy began to cut Khashoggi's body up on a table in the study while he was still alive, the Turkish source said.

"These shocking and gruesome details would explain why USA intelligence sources told CNN and other American media outlets that they were "utterly shocked" at what the content of the recordings presented to them by the Turkish authorities". Samples, including soil from the garden and a metal gate, were reportedly taken.

Saudi Arabia is preparing to say that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by mistake during an interrogation gone awry, according to multiple reports. A senior official told The Associated Press that investigators had found more evidence indicating that the journalist was killed there. The evidence, which was described to the source by a Western intelligence agency, showed there had been an assault and a struggle inside the consulate. Turkish officials fear he was killed and dismembered.

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