Pompeo stresses long-term strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia

Saudi owes Khashoggi family apology US newspaper CEO

Mr Khashoggi is a USA resident and columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who went into self-imposed exile a year ago after reportedly being warned by Saudi officials to stop criticising the crown prince's policies.

A suspect identified by Turkey in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a frequent companion of the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, The New York Times reported on Tuesday (Oct 16).

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in early October.

According to daily Yeni Şafak, Turkish forensics experts found "evidence of murder" at the consulate.

Turkish crime scene teams were seen leaving the consulate early on Thursday morning.

Asked if the U.S. would be willing to walk away from Saudi Arabia, Trump said: "I do not want to do that and frankly they have a tremendous order, $110 billion", referring to a promised United States arms sales to the kingdom.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the government and a columnist for the Washington Post, vanished on 2 October after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Trump, who threatened punishment for Saudi Arabia when Khashoggi's disappearance first came to light two weeks ago, has repeatedly noted Saudi leaders' denials since then and insisted the USA must know the facts before taking action.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has called for the United States to "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia". Now I have to accept: "That is not going to happen", Karen Attiah wrote.

Khashoggi's suspected murder and Saudi Arabia's lackluster efforts to solve the case has negatively affected Riyadh's economic reform drive, chasing away investors and foreign officials alike.

TRT World correspondent Caitlin McGee has details from outside the Saudi consul general's home in Istanbul.

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"I can never do business with Saudi Arabia again until we get this behind us", he said this week.

"We have asked for it. If it exists we have asked for it", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

"The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together", she wrote. The report said it was unclear if he was dead or alive at the time.

"If a country engages in activity that is unlawful it's unacceptable", Pompeo said.

"We all need to know what it was, how it happened and who was responsible and where the evidence leads".

Media sources contend any action against Khashoggi would have to be approved by Bin Salman, the crown prince who has enjoyed high-profile praise in recent months for reforms, such as allowing women to drive.

"I don't want to talk about any of the facts", Pompeo told journalists.

A joint-probe into the case by Saudi Arabia and Turkey is ongoing.

No major decisions are made outside of the ultraconservative kingdom's ruling Saud family. Pompeo was criticized on social media for images from his meetings with Saudi officials that showed him smiling broadly. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Thursday morning U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has backed out of an upcoming conference in Saudi Arabia.



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