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But the leaks appeared to resume after Saudi leaders repeated their denials of involvement to Pompeo, and Trump defended the crown prince as having been unfairly accused.

Swaths of USA executives have declined to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference next week.

Saudi Arabia, an oil rich monarchy and staunch United States ally, has long relied on its financial largesse to persuade partners to support its foreign policy objectives.

Saudi Arabia is one of Washington's closest allies and the Khashoggi disappearance is putting the administration in an awkward position.

In a related development, US President Donald Trump gave Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt in the case even as US lawmakers pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership and Western pressure mounted on Riyadh to provide answers. There has been no such correction.

Khashoggi, a former regime insider who became critical of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wrote articles for titles including the Washington Post.

The Saudis have strongly denied those allegations but US media outlets have reported that they will acknowledge he was killed in a botched interrogation.

At the same time tensions are strained between the United States and Saudi Arabia over a journalist who may have been killed, a warning is going out for the U.S.to tread carefully on the world stage.

Asked Tuesday if the Khashoggi matter would come up during the meeting, Dunford declined to say.

On a plane back home, Pompeo said Erdogan "made clear that the Saudis had cooperated with the investigation that the Turks are engaged in and they are going to share information".

In an editorial, the paper called for an independent global investigation into the disappearance of the journalist, saying that the travel to Saudi Arabia by State Secretary Mike Pompeo has seemed to fail to find the truth.




Saudi support will also be key to the political elements of the plan that Israel insists put its security on par with Palestinian statehood.

Saudi Arabia's green national flag flapped overhead as forensics teams walked into the residence, only 2 kilometres from the consulate where Khashoggi vanished October 2 while trying to pick up paperwork to get married. A search of the name in Menom3ay, an app popular in Saudi Arabia that allows users to see the names other users have associated with certain phone numbers, identified him as a member of the royal guard.

Following a conversation with Crown Prince Salman, the President suggested that "rogue killers" could be to blame for the disappearance of Mr Kashoggi.

"I said, "Who are we hurting?"

On Tuesday, a high-level Turkish official told the AP that police found "certain evidence" of Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate, without elaborating.

A still image taken from CCTV video and obtained by TRT World claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as he arrives at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Trump has resisted any action, pointing to huge USA weapons deals pending with Saudi Arabia and saying that sanctions could hurt end up hurting the American economy.

"If a country engages in activity that is unlawful it's unacceptable", Pompeo said.

Pompeo told journalists Wednesday morning before flying to Turkey that the kingdom promised a "transparent investigation".

The timing of the transfer, first reported by the New York Times, raised questions about a potential payoff as Riyadh seeks to manage the blowback over allegations that Saudi agents were responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

The search at the consul-general's residence, which included police from anti-terrorism and forensic units, followed a lengthy search of the consulate building that concluded early on Tuesday when Turkish officials also took soil samples from its garden, state news agency Anadolu said.


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