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Saudi Interior Ministry Denies Reports Alleging Murder of Journalist Khashoggi

© AFP 2023 / OZAN KOSE A Saudi official opens the door of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 8, 2018 in Istanbul during a demonstration for missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
A Saudi official opens the door of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 8, 2018 in Istanbul during a demonstration for missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. - Sputnik International
Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since October 2, when he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain documents needed for his upcoming marriage.

The journalist's fiancee stayed outside the consulate building waiting for Khashoggi for hours before being told by one of the Consulate General's employees that the journalist had already left. According to media reports, Turkish investigators believe the journalist was murdered inside the consulate.

A poster of missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, on a barrier that blocks the road leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul. - Sputnik International
Turkey Claims it Possesses Video Proving Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed - Report
The Saudi Foreign Ministry welcomed Turkey’s decision on Friday to agree to conduct a joint investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. According to the Anadolu news agency, a delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Ankara to take part in a joint probe. Saudi officials are reportedly expected to meet with their Turkish counterparts over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Saudi Interior Minister Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef slammed Friday allegations regarding the death of Khashoggi as "lies," stressing that the accusations of  murder plot were targeting the Saudi government, Reuters reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that the Saudi authorities' comments were unconvincing and called for Riyadh to prove that they have nothing to do with the incident. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Saudi Arabia has authorized Turkish officials to access the consulate building in relation to the disappearance.

READ MORE: UK Warns Saudi Arabia of 'Serious Consequences' if Khashoggi Suspicions True

According to media reports, the Turkish authorities have informed US officials that they have audio and video recordings that prove that the missing Saudi journalist was killed inside the consulate.

Khashoggi's disappearance has led officials and business leaders to drop out of some of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's large projects.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson poses with SpaceShipTwo at a Virgin Galactic hangar at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif. - Sputnik International
Virgin Group Suspends Talks With Saudis About Planned $1Bln Investment - Reports
Several American companies and business leaders have pulled out of an upcoming The Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia as questions mount over the disappearance of Saudi journalist. Moreover, Bloomberg, the New York Times, the Financial Times, CNN and CNBC all have cut their ties with the conference.

On Wednesday, former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that he had suspended his advisory role on the board of Saudi Arabia's planned mega business zone, NEOM, until more is known about what happened to Khashoggi.

According to Reuters, the possible murder of a high-profile critic of Saudi crown prince has cast a long shadow over Saudi Arabia’s global image and it could have significant implications for Middle East politics.

READ MORE: We Must Be Careful Whether to Say Saudi Journalist 'Is Alive or Not' — Scholar

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