Turkey to search Saudi consulate for Khashoggi's disappearance, Foreign Ministry says

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An examination will be carried out in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul regarding Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, Turkish Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, adding that Saudi authorities are open to cooperation.

A statement by the ministry said that the search will be carried out as part of the ongoing investigation by Turkish authorities regarding Khashoggi's fate.

The ministry said that Turkey is carrying out the search in line with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations as the host country and with the permission of the Saudi diplomatic mission chief.

Developments regarding Khashoggi have been closely monitored by Turkish judicial, security and intelligence units since the day he disappeared, it added.

According to diplomatic sources, a diplomatic note by the Saudi consulate to the ministry inviting Turkish officials to visit the consulate.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conveys its regards to the brotherly Republic of Turkey," began the note.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invites Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit the Istanbul Consulate in line with the cooperation principle with the government of Republic of Turkey and due to the importance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lays on finding the truth about Saudi Arabian citizen son of Hamza Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi's incident of disappearance."

Dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, 58, has been missing since last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate to gather documents for marriage. His fiancee and friends have said he did not leave the building. The dissident Saudi journalist's Turkish colleagues and several Turkish officials have voiced concerns that he was murdered in the consulate.

Turkish authorities repeatedly said that Khashoggi never left the consulate premises. Footage emerged Tuesday showing Khashoggi entering the building the week before.

Saudi officials and consulate workers denied murder allegations and claimed that Khashoggi left the consulate, but failed to provide any evidence of his exit from the facility.

Turkish police investigating the case said on Saturday that 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and entered the consulate while Khashoggi was inside.

Istanbul prosecutors are investigating the incident, while the consulate said on Twitter that it was working in coordination with Turkish authorities.

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