Pompeo lands in Saudi Arabia to meet with king

Pompeo lands in Saudi Arabia to meet with king

Some materials at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared two weeks ago have been painted over, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday. According to that reported claim, the crown prince had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, but the intelligence official was tragically incompetent as he eagerly sought to prove himself.

President Donald Trump on Monday talked to the Saudi King, during which the latter flatly denied having any knowledge of the missing journalist. "Our lawsuit holds Trump accountable", he said. In statements after the call, both praised the creation of a joint Saudi-Turkish investigation.

He has not been seen since he walked into the Istanbul consulate - officially Saudi territory - to sort out marriage paperwork on October 2.

Despite being the world's largest oil exporter, selling a million barrels per day to the United States, Saudi Arabia would gain little from using black gold as leverage, said Jean-Francois Seznec, a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Center for Global Energy.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation. Certain areas of the consulate were to remain off-limits, although officials would be able to inspect surveillance cameras, Turkish media reported. Prince Khalid is the crown prince's younger brother.

Khashoggi, a USA resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of the powerful Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, vanished after entering the consulate in Istanbul to get marriage documents.

"Many in Washington have reached the conclusion that this is a guy we can't do business with", said Gerald Feierstein, the director for government relations, policy and programs at the Middle East Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, and a former USA ambassador to Yemen.

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Khashoggi's fate has troubled Washington and Saudi Arabia's other traditional Western allies.

Turkish officials said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, allegations the Saudi kingdom has dismissed as "baseless", however, it has not presented evidence of the journalist leaving the consulate. The evidence never surfaced, however, and the claims stopped after a sudden increase in high-level diplomatic contacts between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials have called the allegations "baseless", but reports in U.S. media on Tuesday suggested the kingdom may acknowledge the writer was killed there. That potentially offers the USA -allied kingdom a possible path out of a global diplomatic firestorm.

For the Trump administration, Khashoggi's case risks top foreign-policy priorities. And ensuring Riyadh's willingness to increase oil production so that coming sanctions on Iranian oil do not lead to a surge in gas prices has been at least as important.

The US president said King Salman had "firmly denied" that the Saudi state was behind the alleged killing.

As of Monday, the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, still planned to attend an investor conference in Riyadh this month where Crown Prince Mohammed was expected to speak. These include the World Bank, The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC and Uber.

Khashoggi moved to Washington after Crown Prince Mohammed began a kingdomwide anti-corruption crackdown, including efforts to silence dissidents.

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