Saudi government reportedly grappling with Khashoggi explanation to save face

F-15 warplane landing at Khamis Mushait military airbase

Turkish officials investigating the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul later on Monday, according to reports.

CNN reported that the Saudis were going to admit the killing had occurred but deny the king or crown prince had ordered it, which does not match what analysts and experts know about the kingdom's inner workings.

The journalist disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, but the U.S. president said it sounded like neither the king nor Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had knowledge of the incident.

The Saudi government is preparing to a release a report claiming that the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as a result of a botched interrogation, CNN reported on Monday, citing two sources. Britain, France and Germany, which have also tended to prioritize economic ties with Riyadh, issued a joint statement saying they "expect the Saudi government to provide a complete and detailed response".

"Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened "to our Saudi Arabian citizen", Trump tweeted. "That was our first hope, our first hope was that he was not killed, but maybe that's not looking too good. from what we're hearing", Mr Trump said.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who had earlier speculated that "rogue killers" may be responsible from Khashoggi's disappearance, dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case that has strained the Americans' relationship with the Saudis.

"Since Saudi arms are being used to ravage Yemen and they are apparently complicit in the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, I can not support President Trump's proposed arms sale", Durbin said.

Journalist work in front of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

But speaking to 60 minutes on Saturday, he warned the U.S. would be "very upset and angry" if the Saudis ordered Mr Khashoggi's killing.

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Saudi Arabia agreed last week to allow Turkish officials to conduct a search but insisted it would only be a superficial "visual" inspection.

Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents almost two weeks ago, but Riyadh strongly denies this.

But privately, others are now questioning whether the 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the man once hailed as a visionary saviour of Saudi Arabia, has gone too far.

Nobel Peace Prize victor Tawakkol Karman of Yemen talks during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey Oct 8, 2018.

They include the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars; billionaire Richard Branson; JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive Jamie Dimon; and Ford Motor Co. cxecutive chair Bill Ford.

Turkish police investigators entered the Istanbul consulate late on Monday.

Mr. Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the consulate to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to the United States a year ago fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

In commodities, tension between the United States, the world's top oil consumer, and Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest producers, pushed up crude prices on concerns about supply.

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