Pompeo to meet with Saudi king amid Khashoggi probes: Donald Trump

Marco Green
October 16, 2018

Turkish officials have said authorities believe he was killed and his body removed.

In an interview scheduled to air Sunday, Trump told CBS' "60 Minutes" that Saudi Arabia would face strong consequences if involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake, members of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Congress is prepared to move quickly and firmly if Trump fails to adequately respond to the October 2 disappearance of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor.

"Maybe these could have been rogue killers - who knows", Trump said, ". but his was a flat denial".

Salman emphasised the importance of the Turkey-Saudi relationship and said no-one should be able to "undermine the strength of this relationship", official Saudi media said.

Trump has previously threatened "severe punishment" if it turns out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, though he said Washington would be "punishing" itself if it halted military sales to the country.

Speaking to reporters after a phone call with King Salman, Mr Trump said the Saudi leader had firmly denied knowing what had happened to Mr Khashoggi.

The kingdom agreed in principle on Friday to launch a joint investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance in conjunction with Turkish police, but a search of the consulate has been delayed by disagreements over the terms.

President Donald Trump is suggesting that "rogue killers" may be responsible for whatever happened to missing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

More major players in worldwide finance and industry are pulling out of a high-profile business conference in Saudi Arabia in the wake of reports that a Saudi writer critical of the government disappeared and is feared dead after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

The search came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman also had their first telephone talks since the controversy erupted, in what appeared to be a conciliatory conversation according to official readouts.

Saudi media followed on from that statement in television broadcasts and newspaper front pages Monday.

On Monday, shares in SoftBank skidded more than 7 per cent on the Tokyo stock exchange.

Foreign capital is key to Saudi plans for economic diversification and job creation.

Saudi Arabia is facing mounting pressure from the White House and other Western countries to provide answers over the missing Washington Post columnist and US resident.

'It is expected that a search will take place towards the evening, ' said the source, who asked not to be identified.

It was unclear if the boycott call was aimed at users of Uber's service or investors in the company, or both, and whether Bahrain is planning other measures against the company. CNBC reported that Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga would not attend either.

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom, also on Sunday, demanded that Saudi Arabia allow a complete and full investigation.

Prince Mohammed has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment.

A column published by the general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news network suggested Saudi Arabia could use its oil production as a weapon and Saudi arms purchases from the USA and other trade could also be at risk. Until the issue of Khashoggi is cleared up Branson said that any discussions over the Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit investment would be suspended.

Mr Khashoggi, who was considered close to the Saudi royal family, had become a critic of the current government and Prince Mohammed, the 33-year-old heir apparent who has shown little tolerance for criticism.

Khashoggi, a journalist and regular columnist for the Washington Post, failed to emerge after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. "I don't want to put you on the spot, but if you guys would like to tell them some of the many things we can do".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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