Hunt: Missing Saudi journalist ‘serious incident’

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Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has met the Saudi Arabian ambassador to “seek answers” over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Hunt tweeted: “Just met the Saudi ambassador to seek urgent answers over Jamal Khashoggi. Violence against journalists worldwide is going up & is a grave threat to freedom of expression. If media reports prove correct, we will treat the incident seriously – friendships depend on shared values.”

The Foreign Secretary met ambassador Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud a day after Downing Street said the UK was “working urgently” to establish the facts behind Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Mr Hunt’s intervention followed the publication of a CCTV image apparently showing Mr Khashoggi walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, just before he went missing.

The disappearance of the 59-year-old journalist, a prominent critic of the Riyadh regime, and an adviser to its former head of intelligence, has sparked global concern for his welfare.

Jamal Khashoggi is feared to be dead
Image: Jamal Khashoggi is feared to be dead

He went to the consulate on 2 October to obtain paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was reportedly waiting outside the building for him. He never emerged.

A Turkish official told the Reuters news agency that they fear Mr Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in a premeditated murder and his body removed from the building.

The Gulf state calls the accusation “baseless”, but has offered no evidence over the past seven days to show that he ever left the building.

Mr Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice, pictured waiting in front of the consulate, has not seen him since he entered the building
Image: Mr Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice, pictured waiting in front of the consulate, has not seen him since he entered the building

Turkish authorities are set to search the site, after announcing that Saudi Arabia had declared itself “open to co-operation” in the investigation, but no date has been announced for the search.

On Monday, Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the Saudi consulate “must and will” prove where he is, saying the Saudis “cannot save themselves” by claiming the outspoken journalist left the building.

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He had not been seen since he entered the consulate on Tuesday
Image: He had not been seen since he entered the consulate on Tuesday

Mr Khashoggi, who was living in self-imposed exile in the US and working for the Washington Post before his disappearance, was a frequent critic of the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he described as a “brash and abrasive young innovator”, who was “acting like Putin”.

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From – SkyNews

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