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I would like to comment on the current situation regarding the journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.

The president spoke to the media at a defence roundtable in Arizona hours after Saudi Arabia claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor last seen on October 2, was killed in a "fistfight" at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable", the president said. He changed his tone once again late this week, raising the prospect of sanctions against Riyadh.

The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was a "rogue operation", Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said.

Trump ally Lindsey Graham said on Fox News that he did not think the Saudi's explanation was "credible at all".

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The Saudi explanation - that an argument in the consulate led to a fatal brawl - is at odds with the conclusions of Turkish investigators, who believe that Khashoggi was deliberately killed by a team of Saudi agents who were dispatched to Istanbul.

For Saudi Arabia's allies - particularly in the West - the question will be whether they believe that the prince, who has painted himself as a reformer, has any culpability.

He also urged Turkey to turn over purported audio recordings of Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The admission-after persistent claims by the Saudi authorities that Khashoggi had left the consulate alive-came following the threat of United States sanctions. "We want justice for Jamal", he said.

Senior aides close to the prince have been fired over Khashoggi's killing, and 18 suspects have been arrested.

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Khashoggi's disappearance "drew the attention of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the highest levels, and due to the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, the Kingdom took the necessary procedures to clarify the truth and began by dispatching a security team to Turkey on 6 October 2018 to investigate and cooperate with counterparts in Turkey", SPA said.

"I will make my statement about this issue on Tuesday at the party group meeting", Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul on Sunday.

The Times also cited a report by the consultancy firm McKinsey & Co that discussed public perception of economic austerity measures announced by Saudi Arabia in 2015.

Three major European powers - Germany, Britain and France - pressed Saudi Arabia to provide facts to back up its earlier explanation of a fight, while Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would not export arms to Saudi Arabia while the current uncertainty over Khashoggi's fate persisted. King Salman had handed the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to his son, whose reputation has been tarnished by the Khashoggi affair.

The announcement on Sunday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he will "go into detail" about the Khashoggi case in a speech in parliament heightened hopes for some clarity in a case that has been shrouded in mystery, conflicting accounts and shocking allegations since Khashoggi, a critic of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, disappeared after entering the consulate on Oct 2. When the media reported a few days later that he had been killed there, they called the accusations "baseless".

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Mr Al-Jubeir echoed President Donald Trump's warnings against rushing to judgment against Saudi leaders, saying "there is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty", and that some have "turned that upside down". Eighteen Saudi nationals had been arrested, the prosecutor said in a statement. But the prince himself, protected by his 82-year-old father, King Salman, has been tapped to lead a panel to reform the kingdom's intelligence services, a sign he will remain next in line to the throne.