Jamal Khashoggi: Mike Pompeo to visit Saudi Arabia

Sergio Cunningham
October 16, 2018

Citing two unidentified sources, CNN reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia is preparing a report that would acknowledge Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation that went wrong.

Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey more than two weeks ago, prompting fears that he may have been killed inside the diplomatic post.

On Monday, King Salman ordered an investigation into the case.

The kingdom's warning was not only a response to Trump, but also targeted at USA decision-makers amid rising calls for Congress to step in and put key arms sales on hold, he said.

"Growing tensions over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has proved supportive for oil prices", said ING commodities strategist Warren Patterson.

Late Sunday, Saudi King Salman spoke by telephone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Khashoggi.

In an earlier phone call with Trump in April, King Salman reiterated Riyadh's position that Jerusalem must remain the capital of Palestine amid speculation that the kingdom had given up on the longstanding position.

Saudi state owned Al-Arabiya news channel delivered a bullish message to the U.S. and the worldwide community in response to growing calls for sanctions against Riyadh over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations", the official SPA news agency quoted an official source as saying.

Mr Trump dispatched his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the kingdom on Monday to find out "first-hand what happened, what they know, what's going on".

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On Monday Turkish and Saudi officials began a search of the consulate.

The official said evidence was being shared with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

President Donald Trump said that country could face "severe punishment" if Khashoggi, a legal resident of the USA, was killed inside the consulate.

Saudi Arabia has strongly denied any involvement in the reporter's disappearance and claimed Khashoggi left the consulate, but provided no evidence to back up their claims.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who has written for the Washington Post, was last seen walking into the consulate on 2 October.

Many members of the US Congress, which has long had a testy relationship with Saudi Arabia, have issued strong criticism of the kingdom over the case.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi went to get paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

Riyadh will next week host a three-day summit called the Future Investment Initiative - dubbed "Davos in the Desert" in a reference to the annual gathering of leaders from politics and business at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

In a major new blow for the event, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Ford chairman Bill Ford also cancelled plans to attend as well as Larry Fink, the head of investment giant BlackRock, and Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone.

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