U.S. President Donald Trump says he that as spoken with the king of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that he is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "immediately" to meet with the monarch.
King Salman denied "any knowledge of whatever may have happened" to Khashoggi, who went missing after he went to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul nearly two weeks ago, Trump said in a tweet on October 15.
He also told reporters that "rogue killers" could be behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, who Turkish officials say they fear was killed at the consulate on October 2. Riyadh strongly denies that.
Pompeo will stop in Turkey after his trip to Saudi Arabia, a National Security Council spokesman said.
Meanwhile, reports said Saudi and Turkish investigators were seen entering the consulate.
On October 14, Saudi Arabia said it will retaliate in response to any sanctions imposed over Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Trump had said Saudi Arabia would face “severe punishment” if it was involved in the disappearance and suspected killing of Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Global concerns about the Khashoggi's fate have contributed to a fall of share prices in the Saudi stock market, threatening to imperil Prince Mohammed's economic reform drive.
Europe’s largest economies — Britain, France, and Germany — said on October 14 that they were treating the case with “the utmost seriousness.”
Several media organizations and Western business executives have pulled out of a Riyadh investment conference scheduled for next week.