Trump to discuss missing journalist with Saudis

Questions linger after journalist disappears

Dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, 58, has been missing since last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate to gather documents for marriage.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday asked Riyadh to prove its claim that Khashoggi had left the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, while Washington urged Saudi Arabia to support an investigation into his disappearance.

The comments come in the wake of the disappearance of the journalist after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

Erdogan was informed of the conclusions Saturday, the Times reported, citing unnamed sources - and he has since dispatched officials to anonymously tell news outlets, including the Times.

No exact timeframe was given for when the search would take place.

US President Donald Trump has expressed concern about the writer's disappearance. "It has to prove that Jamal wasn't oppressed at the consulate and that he left safely".

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Neil Quilliam, a senior research fellow for the Middle East and North Africa at the Chatham House think tank, said the Saudis were sure to notice when Trump said he knew "nothing" about Khashoggi's case.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the same day called for "a thorough investigation of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results" of the probe.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said earlier today that a "search will be conducted in the [consulate] building as part of the investigation". He has not been seen since entering the building on 2 October. The picture bore a date and time stamp, as well as a Turkish caption saying that Khashoggi was arriving at the consulate.

They checked into the Mövenpick, one of the people with knowledge of the investigation said.

The Sabah newspaper published images of the men apparently taken at passport control.

The door Mr Khashoggi walked through appeared to be the main entrance of the consulate in Istanbul's 4th Levent neighbourhood. Security camera footage shows boxes being loaded into the van, which carried diplomatic number plates.

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Saudi officials insist Khashoggi left shortly after he entered but his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside, says he never came out.

That hope diminished over the weekend, when several news outlets reported the possibility that Khashoggi had been killed and dismembered at the consulate so that his body could be smuggled out of the building without detection.

But he added that diplomatic cars had been seen moving in and out. He visited the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documentation to finalize his divorce; his Turkish fiancée waited for him outside the building, and reported him missing after he didn't return. As a columnist for the Washington Post, Khashoggi has criticized Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his policies.

It would also put Britain directly at odds with the crown prince, who is a key United Kingdom ally.

United Nations rights office spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, on Tuesday echoed calls for "a prompt, impartial and independent investigation of the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to keep the findings public" in comments to journalists in Geneva.

"If reports of his death and the extraordinary circumstances leading up to it are true, this is truly shocking", she said. She said he had been "somewhat concerned that he could be in danger" when making his first visit September 28 but had been encouraged by a "positive" first meeting with consular staff. Why don't you prove it?

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All 15 left just a few hours later, and Turkey has now identified the roles that most or all of them held in the Saudi government or security services, the official said. Relations were already strained after Turkey sent troops to the Gulf state of Qatar previous year in a show of support after its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, imposed an embargo on Doha.

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