Missing writer sours Turkey-Saudi ties

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"Just because they are an ally in an important mission, which is containing Iranian expansion in the region, can not allow us to overlook or walk away from that".

SAUDI Arabia has issued a furious response to the West in the face of mounting global pressure over the disappearance of a Saudi journalist.

Prince Khaled al-Faisal, a senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family and senior advisor to King Salman, has met Erdogan to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters without providing details.

The comments marked a break from the Trump administration's strenuous refusal to speculate over what happened to Khashoggi and came as the USA president is under growing pressure to take action on the case of the Saudi writer, who was a contributor to The Washington Post and wrote columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are expected to conduct a joint "inspection" on Monday of the consulate, where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing almost two weeks ago, Turkish authorities said.

"We are sadly and anxiously following the conflicting news regarding the fate of our father after losing contact with him two weeks ago", they said.

Citing two unidentified sources, CNN said on Monday that Saudi Arabia is preparing a report that would acknowledge Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation that went wrong. Benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $80 a barrel, and Trump has criticized OPEC and Saudi Arabia over rising prices.

"His voice was a headache for the Saudi government", said Abdulaziz.

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A Saudi dissident in Quebec said on Sunday he believes the kingdom hacked his phone and listened to calls he had with Jamal Khashoggi prior to the journalist's disappearance.

While organizers said Monday the conference will go on, the Saudis cancelled an annual diplomatic reception in Washington set for later this week.

The UAE has affirmed its "full solidarity" with Saudi Arabia against all attempts to "undermine its regional stature and fundamental role in establishing regional peace and security", the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has said.

Khashoggi hasn't been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Almost two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi vanished in Istanbul, the shadow of the Saudi journalist's disappearance continues to loom ever larger.

Cleaners were seen going into the building around lunchtime, causing a minor flurry of excitement, an AFP reporter said.

"I think we need to continue to evaluate the facts and we'll make that decision - I talked to Secretary Mnuchin about it last night, we'll be taking a look at it through the rest of the week", Pompeo, alongside President Trump, told reporters in the Oval Office on Saturday. Democratic lawmakers criticized Trump for using the term "rogue killers". USA intelligence officials have reported they are certain the interference took place in an effort to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign.

"He is being outdone by Donald Trump, whoever would have thought that?" she said on BBC's The Andrew Marr Show.

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The US signed a almost $110 billion defense deal with Saudi Arabia in May 2017, when Trump made Saudi Arabia a stop on his first foreign trip as president.

The Saudi government has dismissed the allegations against it as "baseless".

"We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response", said British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas - a message they said they issued directly to Saudi officials.

What evidence Turkish officials could gather at the consulate remained unknown.

The developments follow a strained exchange between the kingdom and the USA on Sunday in which president Mr Trump warned there would be "severe" punishment for those responsible if Mr Khashoggi is found dead. European allies have urged "a credible investigation" and accountability for those responsible.

Khashoggi had been living in self-exile in Virginia for the past year.

US President Donald Trump on Monday said that he would be sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh to meet King Salman and discuss the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi.

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