Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey requests Saudi consulate search

Jamal Khashoggi's fianc

The U.S. State Department and President Donald Trump say they're concerned about the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but they have no idea what happened to him. "But if this deeply disturbing news report is confirmed, the United States & the civilized world must respond strongly, and I will review all options in Senate". "We want to find out what happened", Trump told Fox & Friends programme on Fox News on Thursday. 'I don't like hearing about it and hopefully that will sort itself out.

"Jamal has many friends in Saudi Arabia, and I am one of them", he said in a statement, saying the two had kept in touch while he was living overseas "despite differences".

It says the journalist left the consulate shortly after arriving, while Turkey says he was not seen leaving the building. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying 'he has left, '" the Turkish president added.

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".

Flight records reportedly show that a Gulf Stream IV private jet, tail number HZ-SK2, landed in Istanbul at 3am on October 2, the day Mr Khashoggi disappeared.

Earlier reports said Turkish police were focusing on 15 Saudi citizens who came to Turkey on two airplanes on the day of the incident.

During a trip to Turkey, he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get papers ahead of his upcoming marriage, but he hasn't been seen since.

Saudi officials have called claims that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate "baseless" but have yet to release any evidence that the writer left the building, despite repeated requests from Turkish officials.

Khashoggi has been critical of some of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen.

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Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia faced increased scrutiny over Khashoggi's disappearance from officials in America, the kingdom's longtime ally.

Fusun Arsava, an global law professor at Ankara's Atilim University, told Al-Monitor that even if reports of Khashoggi's murder were true, that would be extremely hard for the Turkish authorities to prove.

The image was given to the Post by someone close to the Turkish investigation and released by the U.S. daily soon after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged the Saudis to prove he left the consulate unharmed.

Mr Khashoggi, who was living in self-imposed exile in the USA and working for the Washington Post before his disappearance, was a frequent critic of the kingdom's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he described as a "brash and abrasive young innovator" who was "acting like Putin".

That relationship is already strained over several issues, including Turkey's support for Qatar in the blockade by Saudi Arabia; its closeness to the Muslim Brotherhood - blacklisted by Riyadh as a terrorist organisation; and its rapprochement with Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran.

The Foreign Ministry said Saudi authorities have notified Ankara they are "open to co-operation" and will allow the consulate building to be searched.

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are allies of the United States. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted, "I pray Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is alive. It is not possible for us to remain silent regarding such an occurrence, because it is not a common occurrence", he said. It said a Saudi team was in Turkey to investigate the disappearance.

He had been living since past year in the United States, in a self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman.

'At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance, ' she wrote. He served as an adviser to senior Saudi officials.

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