Mike Pompeo to arrive in Saudi to meet King Salman

President Donald Trump talks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

President Donald Trump talks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

Turkish and Saudi crime investigators probing the Washington Post contributor's disappearance left the Saudi consulate after a nine-hour search on Tuesday.

The opening of the probe and the consulate search marked a new flurry of activity on the Saudi side, after two weeks in which Riyadh has done little except deny responsibility. The incident has resulted in a global outrage and more so in the United States as he lived here as a legal permanent resident and worked for The Washington Post. Trump has repeatedly said he does not want to risk what he claims is $110 billion in arms sales to the Saudis.

President Donald Trump on Monday talked to the Saudi King, during which the latter flatly denied having any knowledge of the missing journalist.

Trump dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case that has strained the Americans' relationship with the Saudis, carefully cultivated by the USA president.

Amidst global outrage, CNN on Monday reported that the Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge that Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong. Turkey's private DHA news agency said the Saudi consul's office was among the rooms searched.

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Within five days of Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance, Turkish security officials claimed anonymously that they had obtained evidence that the journalist was killed inside the consulate. "Orders must have come from the top".

"Many in Washington have reached the conclusion that this is a guy we can't do business with", said Gerald Feierstein, the director for government relations, policy and programs at the Middle East Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, and a former USA ambassador to Yemen. "This is not leadership".

"The Turks have leaked so much that it is inconceivable that they would settle for less than telling the world exactly what happened", said Tamimi, who met Khashoggi for lunch in London the day before he disappeared. The president said the king denied any knowledge of what had happened to Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who had been critical of the crown prince.

King Salman ordered the public prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi case, a Saudi official said.

Senator Dick Durbin called for a strong response from the US.

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US President Donald Trump speculated that "rogue killers" may be responsible.

The Journal, like CNN, said the Saudi statement has not been finalized. "And if that is the case, I do not believe the U.S. should continue to be party to supporting the Saudis in the bloodshed in Yemen - a halt that is long overdue given the humanitarian disaster resulting from that conflict", Durbin said.

Khashoggi has criticized Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a driving ban for women-policies seen as initiatives of the crown prince. Several organisations and individuals have announced that they will not attend the mega summit in Saudi Arabia as a mark of protest. Some U.S. companies that had planned to attend the conference, including The New York Times, have pulled out since Khashoggi's disappearance. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, KKR executive David Petraeus and Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford have also said that they will not attend the Saudi event.

However, left unsaid was the fact that any decision in the ultra-conservative kingdom rests exclusively with the ruling Al Saud family.

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