Saudis welcome joint Turkey probe into missing journalist

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A security member of the consulate stands at the entrance door of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 12, 2018. – Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain expressed concern about the fate of a journalist who vanished after entering its Istanbul consulate last week.But Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf al Saud told the BBC he needed to wait for the results of an investigation before commenting further about Jamal Khashoggi’s fate. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed a joint investigation with Turkey into the “circumstances” of the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, its official news agency SPA tweeted on Friday.

“Official source welcomes the response of the Republic of Turkey to the request of Saudi Arabia to form a joint team… of specialists” from both countries “to investigate the circumstances of the disappearance of Saudi citizen, Jamal Khashoggi”, SPA said on Twitter.

In a separate English-language statement, the agency quoted an official source as expressing “appreciation” for such a move and “reaffirming full confidence” in the work of “the joint action team… to carry out their set assignments in the best of ways”.

Riyadh has made little comment since Khashoggi vanished on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, triggering unconfirmed allegations that he was killed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has challenged Saudi Arabia to provide CCTV images to back up its account that Khashoggi left the consulate safely.

A Saudi delegation arrived in Turkey on Friday for talks on the case, a day after Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said a joint working group would be set up to look into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The delegation, whose composition was not immediately clear, is expected to meet with Turkish officials in Ankara at the weekend, Turkish state media said.

In a rare public comment on the case by a Saudi official, Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf al-Saud, told the BBC that Riyadh was “concerned” about its citizen.