By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. "stands ready to assist in any way" in the search for a Saudi journalist who went missing in Istanbul, Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday.
"The free world deserves answers," Pence said during a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt. "Violence against journalists should be condemned, but at this point, we don’t know what happened. We’ll continue to call for answers, and we’ll continue to express the genuine concern of the American people for this Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who has disappeared."
Khashoggi's fiancee appealed for U.S. President Donald Trump to assist efforts to find her husband Tuesday, penning an opinion piece in the Washington Post, the newspaper Khashoggi wrote for before he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. He has not been seen since.
"This much is true: He entered the consulate, and there’s no proof that he came out," wrote Hatice Cengiz.
"At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal’s disappearance. I also urge Saudi Arabia, especially King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to show the same level of sensitivity and release CCTV footage from the consulate," she added.
Turkish security sources on Wednesday identified eight out 15 suspects linked to Khashoggi's disappearance
According to the Turkish police sources, 15 Saudis, including several officials, who arrived on the two planes, entered the consulate in Istanbul while Khashoggi was inside.
Prosecutors are investigating the incident, while the consulate said on Twitter it is working in coordination with Turkish authorities.
Turkey on Monday conveyed its expectation of "full cooperation" from Saudi Arabia in the search for the missing journalist.
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday invited Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit the consulate, according to diplomatic sources.