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Turkey's Erdogan says Saudi officials must prove missing journalist left consulate

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-10-09 07:47
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan holds a joint news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (not pictured) in Budapest, Hungary, October 8, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

ANKARA —Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Saudi Arabian authorities have to prove that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had left the Istanbul consulate, reported state-run Anadolu Agency.

"We have to get an outcome from this investigation as soon as possible. The consulate officials cannot get away by simply saying 'he has left' and relevant authorities are obligated to provide proof of this claim," Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest, Hungary, where he is on an official visit.

"It is our humanitarian and political duty to closely follow the issue," said the Turkish leader.

Several unconfirmed reports said that the prominent journalist could have been killed inside the Saudi compound.

Saudi officials denied allegations as "baseless," insisting that the journalist left the consulate's premises, contradicting Turkish officials.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned the Saudi ambassador in Ankara on Sunday to urge "full cooperation" in the investigation of 59-year-old Khashoggi, known to be a critic of the Saudi leadership.

Turkish broadcaster NTV reported on Monday that police has requested access to the Saudi consulate.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, went missing last Tuesday while visiting the building to get documents for his marriage.

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