Saudi king, crown prince condole with Khashoggi's family and relatives

President Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Missoula Mont. on Thursday

The Khashoggi case has opened a serious new rift, with Britain, France and Germany demanding that Saudi clarify how the journalist died inside its Istanbul consulate. He adds Saudi officials do not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains. After weeks of denying involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, Saudi Arabia said that he was killed in the Istanbul consulate, saying his death was the result of a "fistfight".

"As long as these investigations are ongoing, as long as we don't know what has happened there, there is no basis on which we can take positive decisions for arms exports to Saudi Arabia". Prosecutors are seeking statements from a total of 45 employees, CNN Turk said.

That yet again adds to the pressure Saudi Arabia faces over the slaying of the Washington Post columnist.

Shortly after Saudi Arabia admitted to Khashoggi's death, Trump said that he did not want to ruin a "tremendous order" of weapons from Saudi Arabia, and that he would prefer "some form of sanction".

Saudi Arabia has threatened to retaliate against any punitive action, but analysts say that wielding its main weapon - oil production - could backfire, putting the prince's economic goals even further out of reach.

The White House said late on Sunday that US President Donald Trump had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron and the two had discussed a range of issues including circumstances surrounding Khashoggi's death.

It has also blacklisted Belarus, Burma, several African states, North Korea, and Venezuela, but not Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom has repeatedly blamed rogue agents inside the consulate and sought to deny accusations that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was involved in the death.

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"Obviously there's been deception and there's been lies", Mr Trump said on the shifting accounts offered by Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia so far has not acknowledged or explained Mutreb's presence in Istanbul - nor that of a forensics and autopsy expert, also on hand for Khashoggi's arrival at the consulate.

Khashoggi vanished after entering the consulate to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.

The joint statement stressed that the Saudis' explanation must be backed by facts.

Following a telephone conversation between Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Donald Trump, the United States president told reporters that the king had denied all knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance.

In a statement Sunday, the governments said attacks on journalists were unacceptable and "of utmost concern to our three nations".

However, the new narrative - that Khashoggi was accidentally strangled after a brawl erupted between him and officials inside the consulate - was greeted with scepticism and condemnation from the worldwide community.

In a speech on Sunday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan appeared to suggest he was getting ready to release some information about the Turkish investigation, and would do so at his weekly speech on Tuesday to members of his ruling AK Party. He urged U.S. President Donald Trump, the U.S. Congress and the global community to demand evidence of what happened to Mr. Khashoggi.

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