Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu walks with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara, Turkey, on Oct. 17, 2018. Turkish and U.S. top diplomats met over the issues of the missing Saudi journalist and Syria's Manbij, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Mustafa Kaya)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said that the United States is willing to help Turkey investigate the case of a missing Saudi journalist.
According to a statement issued by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, Pompeo earlier on Wednesday met with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, and discussed "a range of issues of bilateral importance including Syria, Iran, and counterterrorism."
Pompeo welcomed the Turkish decision to release U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson and "reiterated the United States' willingness to assist Turkey in its investigation of the Jamal Khashoggi case," read the statement.
It added that Pompeo also discussed with Cavusoglu "the continued wrongful detention of Dr. Serkan Golge and other U.S. citizens as well as locally employed staff from U.S. Mission Turkey."
In a separate statement also issued by Nauert, Pompeo on the same day met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as the top U.S. diplomat "expressed the United States' concern over Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and reiterated the United States' willingness to assist Turkey in its investigation."
Before heading to Turkey on the same day, Pompeo told the media in Riyadh that in his earlier meeting with the Saudi king, the crown prince and the Saudi foreign minister on Tuesday, he "stressed the importance of them conducting a complete investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and they made a commitment."
"They said they would do that and they said it would be a thorough, complete, and transparent investigation. We'll all see the results of that," Pompeo added.
According to Pompeo, the Saudi side made a commitment of showing "the entire world the results of their investigation" and would "get this done quickly."
Pompeo said the Saudi side had "promised accountability for each of those persons whom they determine as a result of their investigation has -- deserves accountability."
The U.S. diplomat also admitted that the United States and Saudi Arabia "have many overlapping interests" and "are trying to achieve important things around the world."
However, when asked whether the Saudi side had said that Khashoggi is alive or dead, Pompeo said, "I don't want to talk about any of the facts," adding that "I'm waiting for the investigation to be completed."
Pompeo said earlier on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia has strongly denied any knowledge of the disappearance of Khashoggi as U.S. President Donald Trump refused to condemn the country before any facts emerge.
The case of Khashoggi, a journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has become a major source of tension between Saudi Arabia and the West.
Khashoggi has been missing since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Unconfirmed reports said that Khashoggi was likely killed inside the compound, a claim denied by Saudi officials as "baseless."