Saudi Arabia will allow Turkey to search its consulate in Istanbul for prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing for three days after entering the diplomatic mission earlier this week.
"The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do. We have nothing to hide," Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a Bloomberg interview published on Friday.
He said Khashoggi had left the building not long after he entered. Asked if Khashoggi faces charges in Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed said it was first important to discover where he was.
“If he’s in Saudi Arabia, I would know that,” he added.
Human rights groups have called on Saudi Arabia to verify Khashoggi's whereabouts after Turkish and Saudi authorities offered conflicting accounts of his disappearance, with Ankara saying there is no evidence he left the diplomatic mission and Riyadh saying that he exited the same day.
Khashoggi entered the consulate on Tuesday to secure documentation for an forthcoming marriage, according to his fiancée, who waited outside.
Turan Kişlakçı, a friend who heads the Arab Turkish Media Association, said Khashoggi received assurances from Saudi officials before his visit that he could enter safely.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters that Khashoggi remained in the consulate and the authorities were negotiating with the Saudis to resolve the issue.
The consulate said it was working with the Turkish government to "uncover the circumstances" of his disappearance.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online.