Saudi delegation arrives in İstanbul for missing journalist investigation: report

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A security officer looks through a partially open door of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 12, 2018. - A Saudi delegation arrived in Turkey on October 12, 2018 for talks on the disappearance of journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi last week at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish diplomatic source told AFP. Saudi journalist and The Washington Post contributor Khashoggi vanished on October 2 after entering the consulate to obtain documents ahead of his upcoming marriage. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

A delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Turkey as part of a joint investigation into the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Reuters reported on Friday, citing two Turkish sources.

A Saudi source also said a senior royal, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, visited Turkey on Thursday for talks. Later the same day Turkey said the two countries had agreed to form a joint “working group” — at Riyadh’s initiative — to investigate the case.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in İstanbul on Oct. 2 to get documents for his upcoming marriage. Saudi officials say he left shortly afterwards but Turkish officials and his fiancée, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.

Turkish sources have told Reuters the initial assessment of the police was that Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government, was deliberately killed inside the consulate. Riyadh has dismissed the allegations as baseless.

On Thursday, Prince Khaled, the governor of Mecca, made a brief visit to Turkey in his capacity as special adviser to King Salman, a source with links to the prince’s family told Reuters, a move that would suggest the monarch was handling the issue as a priority.

A Saudi delegation arrived in Turkey on Friday as part of an agreement between Ankara and Riyadh to investigate the case, two Turkish sources said. They did not give details about who was included in the group.

“A delegation has arrived in Turkey as part of efforts to form a joint working group with Saudi Arabia,” one of the sources said.

Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency said the delegation would have talks with Turkish officials over the weekend.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has previously said that Turkey could not remain silent over Khashoggi’s disappearance and called on officials at the Saudi consulate in İstanbul to prove he had left the building.

On Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign ministry also said the Saudi consulate in İstanbul would be searched as part of the investigation.

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