US confirms Pompeo to visit Turkey over Khashoggi

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON

The U.S. on Tuesday confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Ankara later this week to meet with his Turkish counterpart.

The top diplomat will arrive in the Turkish capital on Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

“In Ankara, the Secretary will meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu to welcome the decision to release Pastor Andrew Brunson and to discuss other issues of bilateral importance,” she said. “The Secretary will also discuss the Jamal Khashoggi case and reiterate the U.S. offer to assist Turkey in its investigation.”

Pompeo is currently in Saudi Arabia where he has held talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over Khashoggi, who has been missing since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Khashoggi has long been feared killed at the consulate after his disappearance.

U.S. President Donald Trump raised the possibility that “rogue killers” could have been responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance after speaking over the telephone with the Saudi king for 20 minutes on Monday.

Trump said Salman “firmly denies” any knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance, and on Tuesday said bin Salman also denies any knowledge of the matter.

Trump said answers regarding Khashoggi’s fate would be forthcoming soon.

Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of what happened to Khashoggi, while several countries — particularly Turkey, the U.S., and the U.K. — are pressing for the mystery to be cleared up as soon as possible.


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