Top U.S. diplomat in Saudi Arabia for talks over missing journalist

Mike Pompeo was greeted by Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubei

As Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia, Turkish officials who searched the consulate told the Associated Press they found evidence in the building that Khashoggi was killed there. It has final say on any and all actions taken by its representatives.

Pompeo is set to visit the place where Khashoggi was last seen.

Speaking to journalists after that phone call, Mr. Trump offered a possible explanation to counter Turkish officials' assertion that a team of 15 Saudi operatives arrived at their consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and killed and dismembered the Saudi writer. Turkish officials say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed.

Her spokesman Rupert Colville said: "We hope the lifting of immunity is absolute so they can investigate, in the consulate, the [consular] residence premise, the vehicles shown on TV footage".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salman in Riyadh. Pompeo was due to arrive in the kingdom on Tuesday morning for his meeting with the king.

Pompeo responded: "Thank you for accepting my visit on behalf of President (Donald) Trump".

Both men were seen smiling and exchanging pleasantries ahead of a closed-door meeting to discuss the case of Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and United States resident.

But Turkey appeared intent to further build its claims against Saudi Arabia. There has been no evidence to substantiate Khashoggi had such ties.

The case has provoked an global outcry against Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, with more media and business executives pulling out of a planned investment conference there this month.

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Last week, Trump said during an interview that he will impose severe punishment if Saudi Arabia is confirmed to be behind Khashoggi's alleged death.

Tuesday night, Pompeo released a statement saying, "I emphasized the importance of conducting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation, and the Saudi leadership pledged to deliver precisely on that". Both reports cited anonymous people said to be familiar with the Saudi plans.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he told Saudi Arabia's rulers that the USA takes "very seriously" the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and will await the outcome of investigations by the kingdom and Turkey before deciding how the US will respond.

Noticeably absent from discussions was Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi wrote critically about for The Washington Post and whose rise to power prompted the writer to go into a self-imposed exile in the U.S.

A Turkish security official said no conclusive evidence emerged from the overnight search in the consulate. Saudi officials previously have called the allegations "baseless", but reports in US media on Tuesday suggested the kingdom may acknowledge the writer was killed there. After President Trump spoke with the Saudi king on Monday, the President floated the idea that "rogue killers" could be responsible for the journalist's death.

Pompeo was in the air when a Turkish police forensics team wrapped up its hourslong search of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul early Tuesday morning. Turkish officials fear he was killed and dismembered.

"I know this: Nothing what happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing it", Graham said.

Saudi Arabia is preparing to admit it killed Khashoggi in an interrogation gone wrong, according to media reports.

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