By Fatih Hafız Mehmet
ANKARA (AA) – Canada, Australia and New Zealand have condemned the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in a statement on Saturday criticized Saudi Arabia's explanation regarding the killing of Khashoggi.
“The explanations offered to date lack consistency and credibility,” she said.
“Canada condemns the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has confirmed took place in its consulate in Istanbul,” the statement added.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also condemned the killing of the Saudi journalist.
“We deplore the killing of Jamal Khashoggi…We expect the Saudi government to cooperate fully with Turkish authorities regarding the investigation of this matter," he said.
The Australian government has also announced it was no longer “appropriate” to attend next week’s Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker in a joint statement on Sunday said: "The New Zealand government continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives."
“The killing by government operatives is deeply disturbing. Many questions remain unanswered,” Peters said.
“We look forward to the results of the investigation being led by Turkey and we urge Saudi Arabia to implement its undertaking to participate openly and transparently in that investigation,” he added.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.
On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.
A joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case on Thursday after searching the residence of the consul general as well as the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.