Pompeo Arrives In Turkey After Discussing Khashoggi Disappearance With Saudis

Adjust Comment Print

Al-Otaibi, the Saudi consul general, left Istanbul for Riyadh on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against any threats to exert economic sanctions or political pressure on the kingdom, saying it will respond with greater action given the kingdom's outsized role in the global economy.

Mr al-Otaibi, reportedly left Turkey on Tuesday after it was announced the property would be searched in connection with the journalist's disappearance.

She welcomed the agreement that has allowed investigators to conduct an examination inside the consulate and possibly also at the residence of the Saudi Arabian Consul-General in Istanbul.

US President Donald Trump, who earlier warned of "severe punishment" if the kingdom was found culpable, criticised the allegations against Saudi Arabia and compared them to the accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supremne Court confirmation hearing.

"We have asked for it".

Asked about the recording, as reported by the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, Trump said, "We've asked for it, if it exists".

Trump's attempt to distance himself from profiting from Saudi Arabia is undercut by a long record showing deals his companies made with that country's government and citizens, media reports said.

Pompeo who flew into Turkey from Saudi Arabia, held two separate 40-minute meetings at an airport in Ankara with Cavusoglu and Erdogan.

The three posed for photos, but said nothing together in front of reporters.

As he returned to the United States from Turkey, Pompeo said President Erdogan "made clear that the Saudis had cooperated with the investigation that the Turks are engaged in and they are going to share information".

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

Banksy prank 'a coup on the art world'
Sotheby's said the painting has now been retitled "Love is in the Bin" and authenticated by Banksy's Pest Control agency. Last week's self-destruction was the latest in a long history of anti-establishment statements by the street artist.

The US State Department says it is investigating.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, dispatched by Trump to the region, said the U.S. takes Khashoggi's disappearance seriously.

"They're going to do an investigation, and when the investigation comes out we'll evaluate it", Pompeo told reporters travelling with him.

"My assessment from these meetings is that there is serious commitment to determine all the facts and ensure accountability, including accountability for Saudi Arabia's senior leaders or senior officials", Pompeo said Tuesday after meeting.

TRT World's North America Correspondent Jon Brain is in Washington DC with more on Khashoggi's disappearance.

No major decisions are made outside the ultra-conservative kingdom's ruling Al Saud family.

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

Media reports also said authorities have an audio recording indicating Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

Until Monday, Riyadh had not allowed Turkish investigators to search the consulate, with reports both sides were at odds over the conditions.

Saudi Arabia has been under intense global pressure to explain Khashoggi's apparent death, which has created a diplomatic rift between Saudi Arabia and the West.

A report by CNN quoted two sources as saying that the Saudi side is preparing a report to acknowledge that the interrogation of Khashoggi had been meant to abduct him from Turkey, but went wrong and lead to his death.