Putin warmly greets Saudi crown prince at G20 summit

Theresa May wants meeting with Saudi prince to call for 'transparent' probe into killing of Jamal Khashoggi

Erdogan has said the killing was ordered by the highest level of Saudi leadership but probably not by King Salman, putting the spotlight instead on the 33-year-old crown prince.

Coming into the two-day meeting between the heads of state, it appeared that bin Salman would face widespread condemnation and isolation for his alleged involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"I have read every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of the United States government", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with CNN on Saturday, "and when it is done, when you complete that analysis, there's no direct evidence linking him to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi".

Trump has said it is vital to preserve the decades-old alliance with Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom is the top buyer of USA weapons and key oil supplier.

Pompeo, who met in Buenos Aires with his Saudi counterpart, has backed the war as a way to counter Iran, which reportedly has ties to Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The Trump administration's reluctance to acknowledge reports from the justice community stands in contrast to calls for a U.S. response from lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who demanded action for Khashoggi's death, which he called "completely abhorrent to everything the United States holds dear and stands for".

Salman, who has been accused by the global community of ordering the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Putin, who has faced claims he ordered the nerve attack on Sergei Skripal in Britain, were pictured hand-in-hand during the second day in Buenos Aires.

More news: George H.W. Bush

Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said the question of holding the killers responsible and the strategic importance of the US-Saudi relationship were separate issues.

He shows up in another portion of the CIA's assessment: an alleged member of the Saudi hit team that USA and Turkish officials said Qahtani oversaw, Maher Mutreb, called Qahtani from inside the consulate to inform him Khashoggi was dead, The Washington Post has previously reported.

A meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to focus on Ankara's investigation into the death of Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul in October. "But his own officials have admitted that this was a planned operation".

Mrs May shook hands with the Saudi prince, who was also berated by French president Emmanuel Macron in a terse conversation captured on video.

The Turkish president said Turkey had evidence that Khashoggi had been killed over the course of seven and a half minutes and had shared the evidence with those countries who had asked for it.

Last week, in a rebuke of Saudi Arabia and the administration's handling of the Khashoggi case, a majority of the Senate voted to advance a measure to end United States military support to Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen against Iranian-backed militants.

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