Pompeo meets with Turkish leaders on missing Saudi writer

Hannah Rogers
October 20, 2018

Saudi Arabia and Turkey have reportedly sent investigative teams to inspect the Saudi consul general's residence in the Turkish city of Istanbul, as the kingdom struggles to convince the world that it had nothing to do with the mysterious disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"No, not at all, I just want to find out what's happening", Trump said. To uncritically believe that this audio recording even exists and that it contains what the Turkish government says it contains would be to give in to the anti-Saudi hysteria in the media, which, you may have noticed, has now morphed into anti-Trump hysteria.

Hours later, The Washington Post published a column by Khashoggi it said it received after he was reported missing, in which he pointed to the muted worldwide response to ongoing abuses against journalists by governments in the Middle East.

These revelations came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday held talks with the Turkish leadership in Ankara over the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi.

Trump has cultivated close ties with the country's de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and the president has expressed doubt that Prince Mohammed is responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance or knows what happened to the journalist.

In Turkey earlier on Tuesday, a high-level Turkish official told the AP that police investigators searching the Saudi Consulate had found evidence that Khashoggi was killed there.

Several U.S. media outlets reported on Monday that the Saudi side was preparing a report that Khashoggi's death was a result of a botched interrogation.

As discussions over the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance have been rising among Saudi users on Twitter, as hashtag has offered 5000 riyals (1300 USD) for the 'most patriotic tweet'. "However, according to the information we received, we expect to get a permit today".

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The Washington Post columnist was abducted October 2 from the consul-general's office at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and dragged into a study next door - and a witness downstairs heard horrendous screams, reported Middle East Eye.

The New York Times reported that a suspect identified by Turkey was a frequent companion of the prince's. A State Department spokeswoman confirmed that Pompeo had not heard any audio recording purporting to indicate Khashoggi was killed.

President Donald Trump has criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the mystery of a missing Saudi journalist, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Saudis' request for patience. The top United States diplomat stressed that time is short and that the Saudis have to deal with the people involved sharply, the source said. Trump has resisted any action, pointing to huge US weapons deals pending with Saudi Arabia and saying that sanctions could end up hurting the American economy.

On Tuesday, in a move seen by experts as an attempt to placate Trump, the Saudi government followed through on its promise to contribute $100 million to U.S. relief efforts in Syria, The New York Times reported.

Mutreb has been photographed emerging from planes with Crown Prince Mohamed on recent trips to Madrid and Paris, the newspaper reported.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde was the latest to pull out of Prince Mohammed's much-trumpeted investment conference next week.

Turkey has now asked the United States to share Khashoggi's blood and DNA samples with them, he added.

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