Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey 'to search Saudi consulate' in Istanbul

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Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey more than two weeks ago, prompting fears that he may have been killed inside the diplomatic post.

The shows of support came before CNN and the New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia was in fact preparing to acknowledge its role in Khashoggi's death by claiming that it was an interrogation gone wrong.

Mr Trump said to reporters at the White House: "The king firmly denied any knowledge of it".

It says one of the sources told them that the intention was to abduct Khashoggi and it had not been authorized by the Saudi government.

President Donald Trump initially made it clear that whatever the outcome of the inquiry into the disappearance of Khashoggi, the USA would not forgo billions of dollars in arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Referring to a $110 billion weapons deal previously signed by Riyadh and Washington and noting that Khashoggi was not a United States citizen, Trump told journalists last week that he didn't really want to stop "massive amounts of money" from being poured into the USA from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi state owned Al-Arabiya news channel delivered a bullish message to the U.S. and the worldwide community in response to growing calls for sanctions against Riyadh over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, 58, has been missing since last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate to gather documents for marriage. Literally minutes after Saudi authorities said Turkish investigators could enter the consulate-a cleaning team arrived and entered the building.

Trump called Khashoggi's disappearance a "terrible situation".

"There's something really awful and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we're going to have to see", Trump said. "Who knows? We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon. This is unfortunate; this is something that is making our - my work - and the Center for [Democracy and] Human Rights in Saudi Arabia very hard", he continued. The kingdom has called such allegations "baseless" but has not offered any evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate.

The official said the prosecutor had been instructed to work quickly.

Saudi Arabia's ambitious Vision 2030 project - the brainchild of the kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - is heavily dependent on overseas investment.

Already, global business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as "Davos in the Desert".

The chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jamie Dimon, had been a featured speaker at the conference in Riyadh. Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford won't attend because of a scheduling conflict, a spokeswoman said.