Iran president: Saudi consulate murder unthinkable 'without US backing'

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler and architect of its reform drive, had briefly appeared at the venue, declaring the event as "great - more people more money", but did not address the conference.

President Trump said Tuesday that Saudi officials had the "worst coverup ever" in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside a consulate in Turkey but said he would "leave it up to Congress" on punishing Riyadh for its behavior.

"The incident was very painful for all Saudis, it's a repulsive incident and no one can justify it", Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in his first comments since the journalist's murder.

Downing Street has declined to comment on the number of individuals to whom visa restrictions would apply, but said it was speaking to the United States and other allies about its response. He added that he wanted the region's economic transition to happen in his lifetime. Those responsible for the killing must be held to account.

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Khashoggi's death has led to a crisis in US-Saudi relations.

The announcement of the call came just before Prince Mohammed, Bahrain's crown prince and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri walked into the Riyadh summit.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to a joint investigation into Khashoggi's killing with Turkey, allowing a joint search of its consulate in Istanbul days after the journalist's death.

But in November previous year, Hariri announced he was stepping down in a televised address from the Saudi capital, causing observers to speculate he was being held against his will.

President Erdogan spoke to Prince Mohammed on Wednesday and the two discussed the steps needed to bring to light all aspects of the killing of Khashoggi, a presidential source said.

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In reference to Khashoggi's killing, the president on Tuesday also said that "w hoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble".

"There are many inconsistencies and lies in what Saudi Arabia says, even a child will not trust them". But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States has identified some of the Saudi government and security officials it believes were involved in Mr Khashoggi's murder and would take appropriate actions including revoking U.S. visas. Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi, a USA resident and critic of the crown prince, was killed and dismembered inside the consulate by Saudi agents.

The Washington Post contributor and Riyadh critic, Jamal Khashoggi, was killed inside the Saudi consulate on October 2, which he had visited to obtain documents for his marriage to a Turkish woman.

Pompeo, however, also repeated that the "US still considers Saudi Arabia as a "strong" ally".

Despite extensive news leaks alleging that Turkey has audio recordings documenting Khashoggi's demise, neither USA nor allied government agencies have been granted access as of late Monday to such evidence, Western security officials said.

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While Brian Klass, an academic and Washington Post columnist, said Khashoggi's son was "forced" to "shake hands" with his dad's murderer.

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