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Turkish officials to examine Saudi consulate in İstanbul over Khashoggi disappearance

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The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced that officials from the Saudi Consulate General in İstanbul have agreed to cooperate and would open their consulate buildings for examination in a search for clues pertaining to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Although consular premises are inviolable according to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the receiving state can conduct an examination in these premises with the consent of the head of the diplomatic mission,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

“The Saudi authorities have notified us that they are open to cooperation in this regard and that an examination of their consular buildings in Istanbul can be conducted.”

The statement did not specify when the inspection would take place.

Meanwhile The Washington Post, to which Khashoggi regularly contributed, on Tuesday published security camera footage of the Saudi journalist seen entering the Saudi Consulate on Oct. 2 at 13:14 local time.

On Monday US President Donald Trump, a close ally of the current Saudi administration, told journalists at the White House that he was concerned about the journalist’s disappearance, adding, “Right now, nobody knows anything about it.”

Khashoggi, 59, went to the consulate to obtain official documents ahead of his marriage to his Turkish fiancée. Turkish police said he never left the building.

However, Riyadh insisted Khashoggi left the consulate, while a Turkish government source at the weekend said they believe he was killed.

The consulate on Sunday rejected the claims that the journalist was killed there as “baseless” in a post on Twitter.

In his first comments on the disappearance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday said he was awaiting the results of an investigation.

“We hope to have results very quickly,” Erdoğan said. “I am waiting with high hopes.”

Khashoggi had 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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