Turkish investigators enter Saudi consul's Istanbul residence

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

On Thursday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey and Saudi Arabia would form a "joint working group" to look into Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

Nauert took the photo while visiting Saudi Arabia to discuss the disappearance of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah says she received the column from Khashoggi's assistant a day after he was reported missing.

Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are frequently in contact, and their relationship played a role in Riyadh being the unlikely first stop on the new American president's maiden worldwide trip in 2017.

Pompeo, the USA secretary of state, is due to return on Wednesday from a trip to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where he met with leaders to discuss reports that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

After talks with the Saudi leadership in Riyadh marked by expressions of mutual goodwill, Pompeo met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Turkish officials have alleged they also have video of him being killed, but have not explained how they obtained it, nor have they published any evidence he was murdered.

Crime-scene technicians wore white coveralls, gloves and shoe covers entering the residence. They found evidence that rooms had been repainted in the building.

Turkey's private DHA news agency, without citing a source, said police wanted to inspect a "water well" in the garden of the residence.

Forensic teams combed the consulate Tuesday looking for toxic materials and other evidence of a cover-up. "We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I'm concerned", he told the Associated Press.

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The daily reported that in another tape, an unknown individual tells Otaibi: "If you want to live when you return to Saudi Arabia, be quiet!"

Earlier, Trump tweeted that Prince Mohammed had denied knowing what happened in the Saudi consulate.

Saudi consul-general Mohamed al-Otaibi had left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday. From Iran and Iraq to Syria, Yemen and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the administration gambled that Saudi Arabia, effectively run by the prince, could credibly lead, and willingly pay for, a "Pax Arabica" in a part of the world from which Trump is keen to disengage.

The Sunni kingdom is indeed a cornerstone of the U.S. effort to thwart regional influence from Shiite Iran.

"As for responses that the USA will take, we need to know the facts before we can begin to formulate what the appropriate response for this would be", he noted.

However, Pompeo said there were clear lines that America would not stand to see crossed.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud has said claims "about orders to kill [Khashoggi] are lies and baseless allegations against the government of the kingdom". "No one is going to defend activity of that nature". He insisted the Saudis were 'an important ally, ' adding: 'But I want to find out what happened, where is the fault'.

Several US media outlets said Monday that the Saudis are preparing a report that Khashoggi's death resulted from a botched interrogation.

Trump has shown no interest in calling out the kingdom over Khashoggi - or calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin on assassinations or North Korea's Kim Jong Un on political prisoners.

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