Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (R) greets US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Riyadh. AFP/Getty Images

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with top Saudi leaders on Tuesday over the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It was learned that the Kingdom is preparing to acknowledge that Khashoggi died at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Pompeo had a short discussion with King Salman before a longer meeting with the King’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo “thanked the King for his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation” of the Khashoggi case and expressed “concern” about the case to the foreign minister.

Nauert described the meetings as “direct and candid.”

According to reports, Saudi Arabia plans to contend that the Washington Post columnist died when an interrogation went awry, but there was no public mention on Tuesday of any new Saudi explanation of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Saudi Arabia has been under intense international pressure to explain Khashoggi’s apparent death after he visited the consulate on October 2 to obtain papers that would have allowed him to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Khashoggi’s family called for an independent, international commission to investigate the case.