Britain, France, Germany call for 'credible investigation' into Saudi disappearance

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The disappearance of journalist and USA resident Jamal Khashoggi after visiting a Saudi consulate in Turkey has thrown the large number of diplomatic vacancies under President Donald Trump into the spotlight - notably in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Turkish officials say they fear Khashoggi was killed at the consulate last week.

A joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, was also being discussed by United States and European diplomats, the BBC said.

"We called a few other places, these are lower officials, but they said: "We have evidence he was killed in a barbaric way, we will announce it tomorrow or the day after". When asked whether he's demanding answers from the Saudis, Trump said, "Yes, we are". I don't want to lose an order like that.

Other names and photos of the 15, who Sabah said travelled on diplomatic passports, match officers in the Saudi Army and Air Force, as identified by previous Saudi media reports and in one case a Facebook profile.

Turkey can not remain silent over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday, adding Turkey is investigating all aspects of the case.

"Although his opinions had angered certain people, he said, the tensions between himself and Saudi Arabia did not amount to hate, grudges or threats", his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, wrote in The Washington Post.

The newspaper said authorities recovered the audio from Khashoggi's iPhone and his iCloud account.

Besides Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and senior adviser Jared Kushner - Donald Trump's son-in-law - spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about Khashoggi's disappearance.

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A key USA lawmaker, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, told VOA the unfolding drama could significantly affect us relations with Saudi Arabia, long an American ally in the Middle East.

"At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance".

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, vanished on October 2 after visiting its consulate in Istanbul, triggering tensions between Riyadh and Ankara.

He says he's spoken with the Saudis about what he called a "bad situation", but he did not disclose details of his conversations.

American lawmakers in both parties have been more critical of Saudi Arabia, with several suggesting officials in the kingdom could be sanctioned if they were found to be involved in Khashoggi's disappearance and alleged killing. "We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as available", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Turkish media reported that a Saudi "assassination squad" arrived in Istanbul on board two private jets on October 2.

The kingdom has dismissed the allegation as "baseless", but has released no evidence supporting its version of events which is that Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed shortly after entering.

Turkish officials say he was killed by Saudi agents during the visit.

Aside from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Trump has yet to nominate candidates for ambassadorial posts in 20 nations and 46 ambassadorial nominees are still awaiting Senate confirmation.

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