US Calls for ‘Thorough’ Probe Into Missing Saudi Journalist

Turkey demands convincing explanation on 'missing' Saudi journalist

That Saudi Arabia would allow foreigners to enter a consulate and search it shows the growing global pressure the kingdom faces over the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia and contributor to the Washington Post.

Khashoggi has been missing since Tuesday when he had an appointment at the Saudi consulate to get papers needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

"Saudi authorities said they were open to cooperation and that a search can be conducted at the consulate building", the ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

But the ministry did not provide a timeline when that might happen.

"We would like to know exactly what happened inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance", said Mohamed Okad, a friend of Khashoggi and founder of Insight into Crisis, a conflict advisory group.

Khashoggi, a progressive journalist who left Saudi Arabia previous year, is feared dead by Turkish authorities, who claim he never left the consulate after going in last Tuesday on an administrative errand.

Turkey has not issued any proof to back up its claims.

The Washington Post published a surveillance image Tuesday showing its missing Saudi contributor walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul a week ago, just before he disappeared.

Hatice Cengiz told the Washington Post that she left him at the entrance around 1 p.m. that day and hasn't seen him since. But he also criticised Turkey's crackdown following a 2016 failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A Turkish official separately told The Associated Press that authorities believe Jamal Khashoggi was slain at the Saudi Consulate, while another said it was a "high probability". The footage shows Khashoggi entering the consulate on October 2.

"We have to get an outcome from this investigation as soon as possible".

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The public outcry in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance will likely spur more diplomatic pressure on the Kingdom.

Khashoggi had gone to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée. "Hopefully that will sort itself out".

0Khashoggi had sought to become a USA citizen after living in self-imposed exile since previous year, fearing repercussions for his criticism of the prince, Cengiz wrote. "It is [the duty] of the consulate officials", Erdogan said during a visit to Hungary.

Trump added that he hadn't spoken to Saudi officials on the matter, but was planning to "at some point".

USA and Saudi officials have yet to comment on that report.

In a statement sent to journalists Monday, Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, said that reports the kingdom had detained or killed Khashoggi were "absolutely false and baseless".

Khashoggi fled from Saudi Arabia in September 2017, months after Prince Mohammed was appointed heir to the throne.

Khashoggi had written a series of columns for the Post that were critical of Saudi Arabia's assertive Prince Mohammed, who has led a widely publicized drive to reform the conservative Sunni monarchy but has also presided over the arrests of activists and businessmen. It said a Saudi team was in Turkey to investigate the disappearance.

"Right now nobody knows anything about it".

The official said that a security delegation consisting of Saudi investigators arrived in Istanbul on Saturday to participate in the investigations into the disappearance of Khashoggi.

At least one American lawmaker, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy, said on Twitter, "If this is true - that the Saudis lured a United States resident into their consulate and murdered him - it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia".

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