US offers support to Turkey in investigation into disappearance of Saudi journalist Khashoggi
U.S. offered assistance again to Turkey in its investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S. State Department has said.
“The Secretary also expressed the United States’ concern over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance,” the department said after meetings between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Turkish leadership.
After talks with the Saudi leadership in Riyadh marked by expressions of mutual goodwill, Pompeo met President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara. Pompeo held 40 minutes of talks at the airport with Erdoğan and later with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Pompeo briefed Turkish officials about his meetings in Riy
adh on the issue of the disappearance of Khashoggi, the minister told reporters after the meeting. Turkey hopes to enter the Saudi consul general’s residence in Istanbul on Oct. 17, Çavuşoğlu noted.
Khashoggi, a former regime insider who became critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been seen since he stepped inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to sort out marriage paperwork.
Çavuşoğlu added that the investigation had to be left to prosecutors. “Unfortunately, the search at the residence [of the Saudi consul general] did not happen last night. Saudis claimed that his [consul’s] family was inside,” said the minister.
“We hope the police will enter the residence today [Oct. 17]. We have said before that Saudi Arabia must cooperate with us in every aspect without delay,” he said. The minister, who said the search would also cover the consul’s vehicles, said the consul was free to travel home due to his diplomatic immunity and had not been deported.
Çavuşoğlu also criticized the way the Saudi consul general “behaved” in a video in which he shows the consulate around to foreign journalists a few days after the journalist disappeared, saying his behavior was “disrespectful” and his attitude was “wrong.”
“The consul’s behavior and approach drew reactions after Khashoggi disappeared,” he said.
Interviewed by state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu refused to be drawn into commenting on what may have happened inside the consulate.
“I have my own opinions... I have strong op inions but that [the investigation] is the job of the judiciary,” he said.