UN urges S. Arabia to cooperate over missing journalist

By Bayram Altug

GENEVA (AA) – The UN on Tuesday called on Saudi Arabia for cooperation with Turkey over Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance in the Istanbul Consulate.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told Anadolu Agency that Khashoggi's disappearance in the Saudi Arabian consulate is a "serious concern".

"If reports of his death and the extraordinary circumstances leading up to it [are true], I confirm this is truly shocking," she said.

"We call for cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to conduct a prompt, impartial and independent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to make the findings public," Shamdasani said.

"At the moment there are still a lot of questions about precisely what happened after Mr. Khashoggi entered the consulate, so we will wait until matters are clear before we can comment further," she added.

Khashoggi, journalist and regular columnist for the Washington Post, has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Turkish police investigating the case had said in a statement Saturday that 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and entered the consulate while Khashoggi was inside.

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul initiated an investigation on the day of the incident while the consulate also said on Twitter that it was working in coordination with Turkish authorities.

Turkey on Monday conveyed its expectation of "full cooperation" from Saudi Arabia in search of the missing Saudi journalist.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia invited Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit its Istanbul consulate.

According to diplomatic sources, a diplomatic note was sent to the Turkish Foreign Ministry inviting Turkish officials to visit the consulate, where Khashoggi was last seen entering a week ago.

* Can Erozden from Ankara contributed to this report.