United Nations voices 'serious concern' over missing Saudi journalist

United Nations voices 'serious concern' over missing Saudi journalist

"As the President has conveyed, the United States is concerned by his disappearance".

Saudi authorities have called the allegation "baseless".

"We demand from the worldwide community to pressure Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman to tell us exactly what happened".

"He entered the general consulate himself, and if he has entered by himself and if he did not exit it, of course this should be proven by the general consulate", Erdogan said at a news conference in Budapest.

"It's very, very sad for us that this happened in our country", the Turkish president said.

Mr Khashoggi was a regular contributor to The Post, and colleagues there have said he often expressed concern for his safety because of his writing. The consulate insists the writer left its premises, contradicting Turkish officials.

The Washington Post editorial board said Sunday that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States "bear inescapable responsibility" to act in response to Khashoggi's disappearance.

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh are at a low point over Turkey's support for Qatar in its year-long dispute with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. Saudi officials have said that he left shortly afterwards but his fiancée, who was waiting outside, said he never appeared.

Trump's comments coincided with a vehement denial from Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who said claims that Khashoggi had been killed or detained by Saudi authorities were "absolutely false, and baseless", according to a statement obtained by CNN.

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Khashoggi, 59, went missing while on a visit to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged the Saudis to back up their claim that Khashoggi left the consulate.

Turkish investigators believe that Khashoggi, 59, was killed shortly after he entered and his body was later removed from the premises, a USA official and sources close to the investigation said.

"As if the Saudi authorities were asleep and there was a unusual silence at a time when the news of Khashoggi's disappearance was spread in the world", he noted.

The Washington Post, for which the self-exiled Khashoggi wrote columns over the past year, pressed for release of evidence. Turkey also backed Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran during its USA trade disputes.

A Turkish official said Saudi Arabia's envoy to Ankara had been summoned to the foreign ministry for a second time on Sunday.

Even President Donald Trump, who took his first overseas trip as U.S. president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had concerns.

"Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day", the government source told AFP on Saturday.

"The Saudis are saying we can come investigate, but they have of course disposed of the body", he said, adding that he believed Saudi statements about a lack of footage from security cameras were insincere. The prominent critic of the country's policy in the Yemen war was an editor of a newspaper in Saudi Arabia and adviser to the country's former head of intelligence.

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