U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks to the plane before leaving Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

ANKARA - Reuters
Pompeo says Saudis committed to complete probe into journalist's disappearance

Saudi Arabia has committed to conducting a complete investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday before departing the kingdom for Turkey.

Pompeo said he would meet with President Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara, two weeks after Khashoggi vanished when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect documents he needed for his planned marriage.

Earlier, President Donald Trump gave Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt in Khashoggi's disappearance, while U.S. lawmakers pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership and Western pressure mounted on Riyadh to provide answers.

In Saudi Arabia, Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman, the crown prince and the foreign minister.

"In each of those meetings I stressed the importance of them conducting a complete investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. They made a commitment to do that," he told reporters travelling with him after boarding the plane for Ankara.

"They said it would be a thorough, complete and transparent investigation," he said. "They indicated they understood that getting that done in a timely, rapid fashion so they could begin to answer important questions."

Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was murdered and his body removed, which the Saudis have strongly denied. 

Earlier, in a Twitter post, Trump said Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied knowing what happened in the Saudi consulate.

"They made no exceptions to who they would hold accountable. They were very clear: they understand the important of this issue, they are determined to get to the bottom of it," Pompeo told reporters.


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