Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Saudi Arabia to talk with officials about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. So far, the Saudis have denied any involvement in the situation. Those denials come as Turkish officials claim to have evidence that proves Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.
The BBC details that Mike Pompeo and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman have now met in Riyadh. While a full description of the meeting has not yet been released, the U.S. State Department says that the secretary of state thanked the Saudi king for what Pompeo termed as being a “commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation” into the situation.
CNN reports that Pompeo’s discussion with the king was fairly short, but noted that the secretary of state had a more substantial conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The crown prince, often referred to as simply MBS, is essentially ruling the country at this point and there has been speculation that whatever happened to Khashoggi had to have been sanctioned by the crown prince.
Pompeo has also spoken with the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir, and the secretary of state is said to have expressed “concern” about the Khashoggi case. According to Business Insider, the secretary of state was scheduled to have dinner with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and he may ultimately head to Turkey to follow up on the case as well.
Today in #Riyadh @SecPompeo met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to discuss regional & bilateral issues. He also thanked the King for his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent & timely investigation of #JamalKhashoggi ‘s disappearance. pic.twitter.com/EC1rDSxLXr— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) October 16, 2018
Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Turkish officials have detailed that they have recordings that reveal a gruesome scene inside the consulate, with Saudi officials having interrogated, tortured, and murdered the journalist.
Up to this point, Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance. They initially maintained that he left the consulate from a back entrance about 20 minutes after he entered.
President Donald Trump has said he spoke with King Salman and noted that the Saudis denied having played any role in the journalist’s disappearance. Since then, however, Trump has floated the idea that “rogue killers” may have murdered Jamal.
JUST IN: Saudi Arabia is preparing a report that will acknowledge that journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, sources say https://t.co/AaIMa59hlo pic.twitter.com/y5bMORXksa— CNN (@CNN) October 15, 2018
On Monday, reports circulated indicating that the Saudi government may release a statement indicating that Khashoggi did die at the consulate after all. The claims, reports said, would say that Jamal’s death was not intentional and occurred when an interrogation went awry.
There has been speculation that the Saudi government may claim that those responsible for the journalist’s death were acting on their own, not with orders from the crown prince. Essentially, it seems, they are perhaps going with the “rogue killer” claim floated by the president.
Investigators have now been allowed to search the consulate in Turkey for the first time. They reportedly spent nine hours there, and they are also expected to search the consul’s residence, which may be linked to Khashoggi’s disappearance.
The Associated Press is now reporting via Twitter that evidence found during the consulate search proves that Jamal Khashoggi was killed there. People around the world are watching to see if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump will be assertive in pushing for answers regarding the journalist’s disappearance.