ADDS STATE DEPARTMENT STATEMENT IN GRAFS 3-4
By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being dispatched to meet Saudi King Salman about the disappearance of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump said Monday.
"Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened 'to our Saudi Arabian citizen,'" Trump said on Twitter. "He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!"
The State Department confirmed the travel announcement, saying that Pompeo will leave for Riyadh Monday.
"The President has called for a prompt and open investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the State Department said in a statement.
Turkish diplomatic sources told Anadolu Agency earlier Monday a Turkish-Saudi joint probe at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul is imminent after Khashoggi went missing after being last seen there Oct. 2.
The investigation is set to start Monday evening Turkey time, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Also on Oct. 2, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while Khashoggi was still inside, Turkish police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.
Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of Khashoggi’s fate, as several countries — particularly Turkey, the U.S., and the U.K. — are pressing for the case to be cleared up as soon as possible.
*Umar Farooq contributed to this story