Saudi Arabian King calls Turkish President over journalist’s disappearance
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, according to media reports.
The Saudi Press Agency and the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu reported on Sunday that the countries were considering establishing a “working group” to discuss the Khashoggi case, reports CNN.
The group, which does not yet have an official date, comes amid intense international pressure on Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post and Saudi royal insider-turned-critic, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain paperwork that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancee.
His disappearance has drawn international condemnation and sparked warnings from US President Donald Trump on Saturday of “severe punishment” if the Saudis were found to be behind his death.
Britain, France and Germany also said on Sunday they were demanding a “credible investigation”.
However, in what appeared to be a coordinated response, a number of Arab countries gave their support to Saudi Arabia.
Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt all put out government statements on Sunday saying they express solidarity with Saudi Arabia.
Turkish authorities believe 15 Saudi men who arrived in Istanbul on October 2 were connected to Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible killing.
At least some of them appear to have high-level connections in the Saudi government.
On Friday, an informed source told CNN that Turkish authorities have audio and visual evidence that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.
Saudi Arabia firmly denies any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance and says he left the consulate that afternoon.