Turkey, Saudis Spar Over Missing Journalist Probe as U.S. Eases Pressure

But Mr. Pompeo stressed the existence of “lots of important relationships” between the U.S. and Saudi governments and businesses in both countries, particularly on countering Iran.

We just need to make sure that we are mindful of that as we approach decisions that the United States government will take when we learn all of the facts associated with whatever may have taken place,” he said.

He also praised Saudi Arabia as a “very important ally” who had been vital to the U.S. efforts to counter Iran in the Middle East. He also said the country is a “tremendous purchaser of not only military equipment but also other things” from the U.S.

Mr. Trump said he would receive a “full report” from Mr. Pompeo once he returns from his trip. He also said he expects results of results of an investigation by the end of the week, and said he wants any audio recording that may represent evidence in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance “if it exists.”

Turkish officials have an audio recording proving that Mr. Khashoggi was beaten, drugged, killed and dismembered by operatives inside the office of the Saudi consul in Istanbul, minutes after walking into the consulate, say people familiar with the matter.

.. Ankara wished to extend its search of Saudi diplomatic buildings in Istanbul to Mr. al-Otaibi’s residence, but had yet to receive authorization from Riyadh.

Turkish inspectors, who spent nine hours searching the consulate building for clues earlier this week, were ready to inspect the residence Tuesday, the minister said. But Saudi officials refused because the consul general’s family was still inside, he said.

.. Saudi Arabia didn’t authorize the inspection because the kingdom’s authorities were upset after learning that Turkish officials had leaked the evidence of their involvement in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance to the media, a person familiar with the matter said.

.. The secretary told reporters at King Salman Air Base that he was reassured by Saudi Arabia’s promises to carry out a thorough and transparent investigation.
“That was the purpose of the visit—in that sense, it was incredibly successful,” he said. “We received commitments they would complete this and I’m counting on them to do that.”
.. Mr. Pompeo’s trip was the latest sign that the U.S. is rowing back pressure on Saudi Arabia over the incident. President Trump initially threatened the kingdom with reprisals if proof emerged of Riyadh’s involvement in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.
.. But Tuesday, Mr. Trump resisted calls to cut back U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, saying the $100 billion in U.S.-Saudi arms deals are important to American companies and workers.

On Monday, Saudi authorities weighed whether to declare that unauthorized operatives killed Mr. Khashoggi during a botched interrogation, in a bid to defuse growing diplomatic pressure on the kingdom, according to people familiar with the situation. It isn’t known whether they are still considering that.