FEATURED:

Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to back investigation into missing journalist

Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to back investigation into missing journalist
© UPI Photo

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSaudis say journalist killed in ‘fight’ at consulate; 18 detained Pompeo asks Mexico to help tackle migration ‘crisis’ Trump: 'FAKE NEWS' that Pompeo heard tape of Saudi journalist's death MORE on Monday called on Saudi Arabia to back a "thorough investigation" into the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation," Pompeo said in a statement.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and opinion writer for the Washington Post, was known for his critical views on Riyadh. He had recently left his country, citing concerns over Saudi Arabia's crackdown on free speech. 

The journalist was reported missing last week after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey, where he intended to obtain a document necessary to finalize his divorce from his wife. He reportedly never left, and Turkish sources later told Reuters that he had been killed inside the consulate. 

The reports of his death, while still unconfirmed, have sparked outrage worldwide. President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE on Monday said he was "concerned" about Khashoggi's disappearance, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was monitoring the case closely.

Saudi Arabia is perhaps the U.S.'s closest ally in the region besides Israel, and some observers expect the incident could lead to a rupture in relations. Others express skepticism that the Trump administration, which has sought to further strengthen ties to Riyadh in the wake of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaRepublicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Live coverage: Heitkamp faces Cramer in high-stakes North Dakota debate MORE's presidency, will hold the country accountable if the reports are revealed to be accurate.

Pompeo in his statement noted that the U.S. had received conflicting accounts of Khashoggi's disappearance. He added that State Department officials have contacted Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels and are looking into the matter.