The fiancee (left) of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and her friend wait outside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 3 2018. Picture: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL
The fiancee (left) of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and her friend wait outside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 3 2018. Picture: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL

Ankara -Turkey’s foreign ministry has summoned Saudi Arabia’s ambassador for consultations over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he had entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkish sources said on Thursday.

The Saudi envoy was called in on Wednesday, they said, to clarify the whereabouts of Khashoggi, a critic of Riyadh’s foreign policy and its crackdown on dissent who left Saudi Arabia last year saying he feared retribution for his views.

"Yesterday the Saudi ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry and the issue of Khashoggi was discussed," one of the sources said. "Efforts are being made to clarify allegations about Khashoggi. We believe a positive outcome will emerge.

"Since yesterday, contacts have been continuing between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to overcome the problem related to Khashoggi," the source said.

Khashoggi’s fiancée and a close friend said he vanished after entering the Saudi mission in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia’s consulate-general in Istanbul said in a statement on Wednesday that Khashoggi had left the consulate building shortly after his appointment on Tuesday.

It said the consulate was working with Turkish authorities "to uncover the circumstances" of his disappearance. No-one at the Saudi embassy in Ankara was available to comment on Thursday.

Khashoggi’s disappearance could complicate already fraught ties between Ankara and Riyadh. Turkey has supported the Gulf state of Qatar in its prolonged standoff with Saudi Arabia and its allies.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Wednesday Turkey believed Khashoggi was still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, challenging the Saudi account.

Reuters

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