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Saudi denies reports of expelling Turkish ambassador over Khashoggi disappearance

Saudi denies reports of expelling Turkish ambassador over Khashoggi disappearance

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week

Saudi Arabia has dismissed reports that it expelled the Turkish ambassador from the kingdom over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

While some Turkish sources have alleged that he was killed in the consulate, Saudi authorities have denied such allegations.

Also read: Turkey asks to search Saudi consulate for journalist Jamal Khashoggi

News reports also suggested that Saudi’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement calling for the expulsion of the Turkish ambassador to the kingdom because of the case.

However, the official Saudi Press Agency quoted an official source at the ministry as calling the report “absolutely untrue and baseless”.

Khashoggi, a prominent journalist increasingly critical of Saudi Arabia,  left the country last year. He went to the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Saudi officials claim he left the consulate, but his fiancée, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.

Also read: Missing Saudi journalist’s family deny any knowledge of fiancé

On Monday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also called on the kingdom to prove their claim.

“We have to get an outcome from this investigation as soon as possible. The consulate officials cannot save themselves by simply saying ‘he has left’,” Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest.

US President Donald Trump also expressed concerns about Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“I am concerned about it. I don’t like hearing about it. And hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now nobody knows anything about it, but there are some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it,” he told reporters at the White House.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo added that US officials have been in communication with Riyadh.

“We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation,” he said.

Taking to Twitter, US vice president Mike Pence said: “Violence against journalists across the globe is a threat to freedom of the press & human rights. The free world deserves answers”.

With inputs from Reuters

 

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