Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi-Turkish team arrives to search consulate

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Riyadh for talks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkish officials accuse the Saudis of murdering Khashoggi.

"By leaking information on the case in a controlled manner, Turks have signaled their willingness to confront the Saudis if they have enough global support, particularly from the West", said Gonul Tol, director of the Middle East Institute's Center for Turkish Studies in Washington.

"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russian Federation or they're going to buy it from China or they're going to buy it from other countries", Trump said at a news conference on Saturday.

"Per two sources who spoke to CNN, however, the Saudis are preparing a report admitting that they meant to abduct and bring Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, but that he was inadvertently killed in the process".

The Journal, like CNN, said the Saudi statement has not been finalized. "All they're going to do is give it to other countries, and I think that would be very foolish". Riyadh had so far not allowed the search at the Istanbul consulate - officially Saudi territory - amid reports both sides were at odds over the conditions of the probe.

While organizers said Monday the conference will go on, the Saudis canceled an annual diplomatic reception in Washington set for later this week.

Saudi Arabia rejected threats to punish it over the disappearance, saying the kingdom would retaliate against any sanctions with tougher measures. It is feared that a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote critically about Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump says he doesn't "want to get" into King Salman's mind, but says, "it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

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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. Democratic lawmakers criticized the President for his comments after the call with King Salman.

Trump has said he's unwilling to jeopardize United States arms sales to Saudi over the Khashoggi case, but he's also repeatedly promised to hold the perpetrators accountable.

"We're just hurting ourselves", Trump said.

"He may go to Turkey".

Investigators entered the building in Istanbul on Monday afternoon - first a Saudi team followed roughly an hour later by Turkish forensic police.

Khashoggi, 59, disappeared earlier this month after he entered the Saudi Consulate to obtain documents related to his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman.

"The king has ordered the public prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi matter based on the information from the joint team in Istanbul", an official quoted by Reuters news agency said.

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