Pompeo Wants Saudis to be 'Transparent' About Missing-Journalist Probe

Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey

The Saudi consulate said Khashoggi left after completing paperwork

The U.S. State Department has called on Saudi Arabia to conduct a "thorough" probe into the mysterious disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose case sparked global concern over the kingdom's apparent crackdown on dissent. According to the Turkish government, Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by the Saudi Arabian government.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency early Sunday morning carried a statement from the Istanbul Consulate that "strongly denounced these baseless allegations", and expressed doubt that they came from Turkish officials that are informed of the investigation or are authorized to comment on the issue.

But the ministry did not provide a timeline when that might happen.

Turkey says a team of 15 Saudis arrived at the consulate last Tuesday (local time) and it is believed they are involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

The Saudis have offered no surveillance footage or evidence to corroborate their claims, nor have Turkish authorities offered proof to show why they believe the columnists was killed there.

Dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, 58, has been missing since last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate to gather documents for marriage.

Hatice Cengiz told the Washington Post that she left him at the entrance around 1 p.m. that day and hasn't seen him since. As a precaution, he told Cengiz that she should contact an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he did not return.

Turkish investigators believe that Khashoggi, 59, was killed shortly after he entered and his body was later removed from the premises, a US official and sources close to the investigation said.

"We wouldn't normally broadcast an off-air conversation, but we've decided to make an exception, in light of the current circumstances", the British broadcaster said in a note published with the recording.

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The public outcry in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance will likely spur more diplomatic pressure on the Kingdom.

But speaking to reporters afterward, Erdogan said he was awaiting a prosecutor's investigation about what had happened to Khashoggi. And hopefully that will sort itself out. "It is [the duty] of the consulate officials", Mr Erdogan said this week.

He studied at Indiana University before going on to report around the Middle East (interviewing Osama bin Laden several times) and becoming editor-in-chief of Saudi-backed Al-Arab News Channel and even an advisor to the royal family for a time.

American Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Tuesday "everything today points to" Khashoggi's murder last week inside the Saudi consulate.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to reporters about the subject.

Khashoggi, an Al Watan and Washington Post journalist known for his strong critiques of authorities in Saudi Arabia and ruling Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had fled his home country previous year to live in self-imposed exile in the United States.

Saudi officials have denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and alleged murder, saying he left the consulate on October 2.

Recall that in June of a year ago, several Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE) - broke relations with Qatar and imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar.

"There's some pretty bad stories about it", Trump added. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in a string of tweets Monday that "if there is any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid - economically and otherwise".

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