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Jamal Khashoggi disappearance: Mike Pompeo to visit Saudi Arabia

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 October 2018, 12:26 IST

United States Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo will be travelling to Saudi Arabia at the request of President Donald Trump.

Trump tweeted to announce the same saying, "Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened "to our Saudi Arabian citizen." He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!"

Jamal Khashoggi has been missing ever since cameras captured him going inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Hatice Cengiz, his fiancee, who was waiting outside the consul, had stated that she did not see him re-emerging from the building.

Department spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement said, "At the request of President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo will travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia today. The President has called for a prompt and open investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi."

Earlier, United States President Donald Trump had threatened of "severe punishment" for the Gulf country if there has indeed been any Saudi hand in the scribe's disappearance. The UK's Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt, had also said that they would have to "think about the appropriate way to react" if Saudi Arabia is found guilty in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Turkish officials had previously claimed that their Saudi counterparts carried out Khashoggi's kidnapping and murder. They had alleged that a 15-man team flew from Riyadh to Istanbul on the day the senior journalist visited the consulate and carried out the alleged murder of the journalist.


First published: 16 October 2018, 12:26 IST