Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to back investigation into missing journalist

Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to back investigation into missing journalist
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall Dems demand briefing, intel on North Korea nuclear talks Pompeo: US will not share information with countries using Huawei systems 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 TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall 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 Obama4 ways Hillary looms over the 2020 race Obama goes viral after sporting black bomber jacket with '44' on sleeve at basketball game Obama attends UNC-Duke basketball game 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.