The Latest: Trump, Ryan concerned by Khashoggi disappearance
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on the disappearance of a Saudi columnist, who went missing after visiting his country’s consulate in Istanbul (all times local):
President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have joined the ranks of U.S. officials raising concerns about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Asked by reporters about Khashoggi’s disappearance, the president said “I am concerned about it.” He spoke as he returned to Washington from a trip to Florida.
Earlier, House Speaker Paul Ryan is calling the disappearance of Khashoggi “very disturbing” and says the United States needs “clear facts” on the situation.
Khashoggi went missing last week after visiting the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. Ryan said he’ll “fight for answers” about the disappearance and wants information “from both governments,” the Saudis and the Turks, about what happened.
Ryan said he stands in solidarity with those in the media making sure Khashoggi’s disappearance does not go unnoticed
The GOP leader visited Saudi Arabia at the start of the year. He spoke Monday at the National Press Club, which works to ensure press freedoms.
The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “very concerned” about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and violence against other journalists.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says the U.N. chief is following the Khashoggi case “closely,” noting that an investigation is taking place in Istanbul.
Turkish officials say the Washington Post contributor was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and that his body was later removed from the building, without providing evidence. Saudi officials have denied the allegations, and the consulate says Khashoggi left its premises.
Dujarric told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York on Monday that Guterres “has been an advocate for journalists.”
He says: “Both publicly and privately, the secretary-general has often raised this issue with member states.”
General Assembly President Maria Espinosa Garces is also “very concerned” about Khashoggi’s disappearance, spokeswoman Monica Grayley said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Saudi Arabia has the responsibility to prove its claim that a missing Saudi journalist left the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
The journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, went missing Oct. 2 after he visited the Saudi Consulate to complete paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancee. Saudi officials said the journalist, a Washington Post contributor, left the building, while Turkish officials say he did not.
Turkish officials have said authorities believe Khashoggi was killed at the consulate, allegations denied by Saudi Arabia.
Speaking during a visit to Hungary, Erdogan said the Saudis “cannot save themselves by saying he left.”
Erdogan says Turkish police, intelligence and judiciary officials are investigating. Erdogan said he himself was following the investigation, saying it was his political and humanitarian duty.
A Turkish official says the Saudi ambassador to Turkey has been summoned to the ministry to request Riyadh’s cooperation in an investigation over journalist Jamal Khashoggi who went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.
A ministry official says Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal met with the Saudi ambassador on Sunday. Private NTV television said Turkey requested permission to search the consulate building.
A Turkish official told The Associated Press that Turkey has “deepened” its investigation without providing further detail.
Turkish officials claim the Washington Post contributor was slain at the consulate and that his body was later removed. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not confirm the alleged killing saying he would await the result of an investigation.
Saudi officials have denied the allegations as baseless.