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However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier Thursday that the United States would give ally Saudi Arabia "a few more days" to probe Khashoggi's alleged murder, again delaying a US response to the mounting scandal.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the mystery of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Saudis' request for patience.

'We'll be making a statement, a very strong statement'.

According to the reports, the assassination squad included agents tied to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a powerful figure in the Saudi royal family and lynchpin in the trend toward ever-tightening relations with the White House.

Separately, ABC News has also learned that Turkish officials believe that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate following a struggle that lasted eight minutes and that they believe he died of strangulation.

Turkish police are searching a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul and a city near the Sea of Marmara for remains of a Saudi dissident journalist who disappeared two weeks ago after entering the Saudi consulate, two Turkish officials said.

"It is out of the question for Turkey to give Pompeo or any other US official any audio recording", Cavusoglu told reporters during a visit to Tirana, Albania.

Twitter suspended a pro-Saudi bot operation spreading tweets about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after NBC News raised questions, the network reported.

CCTV pictures show Mr Khashoggi entering the consulate to get documents so he could marry his Turkish wife - but he was not seen leaving and has not been heard from since.

Reports have been circulating for days that the Turkish government has audio recordings of Khashoggi being interrogated and murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

That's one reason some expect Washington to try to help Saudi Arabia find a way out of the political mess it faces over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

Asked what could have happened to Khashoggi, he said, "There are lots of stories out there about what happened, and I'm going to allow the process to move forward and allow the facts to unfold, and.we will make a determination for ourselves about what happened there, based on the facts that are presented".

But while withholding judgment on the case, Trump and Pompeo in recent days have stressed the depth of US-Saudi cooperation in financial and counterterrorism matters stretching back for nearly a century.

Asked what the consequences would be if Saudi leaders were linked to his disappearance, Trump said: "Well, it'll have to be very severe". "They are an important strategic alliance of the United States and we need to be mindful of that as well", he said. The prince is next in line for the throne held by his aged father King Salman.

"We have certain information and evidence [regarding Khashoggi's disappearance]" and will publicize all materials to the world after the investigation is concluded, Cavusoglu told reporters.


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