Saudi slams 'baseless lies' over Khashoggi's disappearance

Saudi slams baseless lies over Khashoggis disappearance

Istanbul - Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

By Agencies

Published: Mon 15 Oct 2018, 9:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Oct 2018, 8:48 AM

A delegation of a dozen Saudi officials was in Turkey on Saturday for talks on the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Riyadh slammed as "baseless lies" Turkish accusations he was killed inside its Istanbul consulate.
With the mystery of his fate unresolved 11 days after he walked into the consulate and failed to reappear, a pro-government Turkish daily said Khashoggi had recorded his own interrogation inside the mission on an Apple Watch.
Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and lurid claims have been leaked to media that he was tortured and even dismembered.
Saudi insists Khashoggi, who entered the consulate for paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee, left the building safely but has yet to offer visual evidence of this.
The Saudi delegation was in Turkey, due to have talks this weekend in Ankara and take part in a working group on the disappearance whose creation was announced by Erdogan's spokesman, official Turkish media said.
The NTV channel said the delegation is composed of 11 people and had on Friday inspected the consulate in Istanbul. The composition of the delegation has not been made clear.
Turkish and foreign media who have camped outside the consulate all week noticed the motorcade arriving on Friday but it had not been immediately clear who were the Saudi personnel entering the consulate were.
Riyadh has warmly welcomed the creation of the working group but Interior Minister Prince Abdel Aziz bin Saud bin Nayef slammed the claims that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.
He described the allegations as "baseless allegations and lies".
News reports about orders to kill Khashoggi "are lies and baseless allegations", the minister said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Prince Aziz said that Saudi Arabia "valued the cooperation with the brothers in Turkey through the joint investigation team and other official channels," and stressed the important role of the media in reporting facts and not influencing investigations and judicial proceedings.
He said the government of Saudi Arabia is "committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions."
"He also stressed the Kingdom's keenness on the interest of its citizens at home and abroad and its keenness in particular to clarify the whole truth about the disappearance of the citizen Jamal Khashoggi," the SPA said.
Turkey and Saudi have an uneasy relationship with disputes over the ousting of the Islamist government in Egypt and blockade imposed on Ankara's ally Qatar .
Analysts say that Turkey is hoping to find support from its Nato ally the United States in the case, although Ankara-Washington have been in crisis over the detention for the last two years of a Protestant pastor. But the pastor was freed on and allowed to fly home by a Turkish court, in a move that could help normalise ties.

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