The Latest: Missing writer’s fiancee says he wasn’t nervous
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi (all times local):
The Turkish fiancee of missing Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi says he wasn’t nervous when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and did not suspect that anything bad would happen to him.
Hatice Cengiz told The Associated Press on Friday that Khashoggi’s last words to her before entering the building were “See you later my darling.” She says they would have been married this week and had planned a life together split between Istanbul and the United States, where Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile since last year.
The 59-year-old writer and Washington Post contributor has been missing since he entered the Saudi mission on Oct. 2 to obtain paperwork required to marry Cengiz. Turkish officials are not commenting on reports that the government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video proof that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.
In written responses to questions by the AP, Cengiz said Turkish authorities had not told her about any recordings and that Khashoggi is officially “still missing.”
She confirmed reports that Khashoggi was wearing an Apple watch when he entered the consulate and said investigators were examining his cell phones, which he had left with her.
President Donald Trump says he will soon speak with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman about the disappearance of journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, went missing more than a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey, and Turkish officials have said they believe he was murdered there.
Trump calls it a “serious situation” and pledges that the U.S. government will find out what happened to Khashoggi. U.S. officials say they are seeking answers from the Saudi government, and are not yet accepting the Turkish government’s conclusions.
Trump says Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will evaluate at a later date whether to attend a Saudi investor conference later this month. Mnuchin had indicated earlier Friday he still planned to attend.
Morocco’s justice minister has confirmed that the country handed the former head of security to the Saudi royal family back to Saudi Arabia in 2015 on the basis of an Interpol notice. He reportedly disappeared days later.
The confirmation from Mohammed Aujjar comes in response to international reports mentioning the case in the context of the disappearance earlier this week of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Aujjar said Turki bin Bandar, who fell out with the Saudi royal family and fled to Paris in 2012, was arrested in Morocco on Nov. 11, 2015 under an international warrant issued by Saudi Arabia “for disturbances of public order via internet and for committing financial crimes” and extradited to Saudi Arabia five days later.
The minister told The Associated Press that Morocco’s supreme court issued the order for the extraction of Turki bin Banda and that his arrest “also followed strict judiciary procedures.”
The Washington Post reported that Turki disappeared in 2015.
Moroccan authorities wouldn’t comment on Khashoggi’s case.
Saudi Arabia has welcomed Turkey’s approval of a joint Turkish-Saudi working group to investigate the disappearance of Saudi Arabian writer Jamal Khashoggi.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Saudi Foreign Ministry expressed its appreciation to Turkey for agreeing to form a “joint action team.”
The Saudi delegation arrived in Turkey earlier Friday, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu said.
The Saudi statement said the kingdom is keen “to sustain the security and safety of its citizenry, wherever they might happen to be.”
Saudi Arabia has called allegations it abducted or harmed Khashoggi “baseless.”
The fiancee of a missing Saudi journalist is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to use his clout to find out what happened to her partner.
Following a Turkish court’s decision to free the evangelical pastor, Andrew Brunson, Trump tweeted: “Working very hard on Pastor (Andrew) Brunson!”
That prompted Hatice Cengiz to ask about her missing fiancee, Jamal Khashoggi, a writer who had been critical of Saudi leaders.
“What about Jamal Khashoggi?” she tweeted.
Khashoggi vanished last week after he walked into the consulate in Istanbul to get documents he needed to get married.
Trump on Thursday said U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia were “excellent” and that he doesn’t want to scuttle highly lucrative arms deals with Riyadh.
President Emmanuel Macron says France wants to know “the whole truth” about the disappearance of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, calling the early details about the case “very worrying.”
Macon said “I’m waiting for the truth and complete clarity to be made” since the matter is “very serious.” He spoke Friday in Yerevan, Armenia, to French broadcasters RFI and France 24.
Macron said he hasn’t discussed the issue with Saudi authorities and the Turkish president yet, but will do so in the coming days. He said he will take position on the case after more details are known and verified by French intelligence services.
Turkish officials allege Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.
Germany says it is “very concerned” about the disappearance of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, and is calling on Saudi Arabia to “participate fully” in clearing up reports that he may have been killed.
Khashoggi went missing over a week ago after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials allege he was killed inside the consulate.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said “the suspicion that is being talked about here is appalling, and so this disappearance must be cleared up as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”
He added that “Saudi Arabia must participate fully in clearing this up.”
Foreign ministry spokesman Rainer Breul said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gave a similar message to the Saudi ambassador in Berlin earlier this week.
The Washington Post says the Turkish government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video proof that missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul.
In a report Friday, the newspaper, for which Khashoggi is a columnist, cited anonymous officials saying the recordings show a Saudi security team detaining the writer when he went to the consulate on Oct. 2 to pick up a document for his upcoming wedding.
The Associated Press was not immediately able to confirm the report, and Turkish officials would not comment.
Saudi Arabia has called the allegation it abducted or harmed Khashoggi “baseless.”
However, it has offered no evidence to support its claim he left the consulate and vanished even though his fiance waiting outside.
Turkey’s state-run news agency says a delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Turkey as part of an investigation into missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Anadolu Agency said Friday that the delegation would hold talks with Turkish officials over the weekend. It did not provide further details.
On Thursday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey and Saudi Arabia would form a “joint working group” to look into Khashoggi’s disappearance. The journalist vanished last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish officials have said The Washington Post contributor may have been killed inside the consulate, but they haven’t offered any evidence. Saudi Arabia has denied the allegation as “baseless.”