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Saudi Arabia invites Turkey to visit Istanbul consulate: Anadolu agency

Reuters , Tuesday 9 Oct 2018
Saudi Consulate
Security cameras are pictured at the entrance of the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 8, 2018. Picture taken October 8, 2018. (Reuters)
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Saudi Arabian officials invited Turkish experts and related officials to visit its consulate in Istanbul, Turkey's state-owned news agency Anadolu said on Tuesday, following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi a week ago.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said a search would be conducted there, while the United Nations human rights office urged both countries to investigate Khashoggi's disappearance.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman previously told Bloomberg that Riyadh was "ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises", which is Saudi sovereign territory.

Khashoggi entered the consulate last Tuesday and has not been heard of or seen since, his fiancée and friends say. Turkish officials told Reuters at the weekend they believed he had been killed inside the Saudi consulate.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the investigation was "continuing intensively", and that the Vienna Convention allowed for consulates to be searched by the authorities of the host country with the consent of the mission chief.

"The consulate building will be searched in the framework of the investigation," Aksoy said in a written statement.

There was no immediate comment on the report from the Saudi authorities.

The United Nations human rights office voiced deep concern on Tuesday at the "apparent enforced disappearance" and possible murder of Khashoggi and urged the two countries to investigate.

"We call for cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to make the findings public," U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing.

The two countries have such an obligation under both criminal law and international human rights law, she said.

Khashoggi was previously a prominent newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and an adviser to a former head of intelligence. His disappearance has sparked global concerns, particularly after Turkish sources said over the weekend that authorities believed he had been killed inside the consulate.

Turkish President 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.

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