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Hunt warns Saudi Arabia over journalist’s disappearance

Jeremy Hunt has warned Saudi Arabia that "friendships depend on shared values" after questioning the country's ambassador over the disappearance of a journalist.

Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Riyadh regime, has not been seen since he entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday and Turkish authorities claim he was killed inside the building.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has met ambassador Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud to "seek answers", a day after Downing Street said the UK was "working urgently" to establish the facts behind the disappearance.

Just met the Saudi ambassador to seek urgent answers over Jamal Khashoggi. Violence against journalists worldwide is going up & is a grave threat to freedom of expression. If media reports prove correct, we will treat the incident seriously – friendships depend on shared values.

— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) October 9, 2018

Mr Hunt tweeted: "Violence against journalists worldwide is going up & is a grave threat to freedom of expression.

"If media reports prove correct, we will treat the incident seriously – friendships depend on shared values."

Mr Hunt's intervention followed the publication of a CCTV image apparently showing Mr Khashoggi walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, just before he went missing.

Jamal Khashoggi is feared to be dead Image: Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Riyadh regime, is feared dead

The timestamped picture has a Turkish caption bearing Mr Khashoggi's name and that he was arriving at the consulate, but the man in shot has his back to the camera.

The disappearance of the 59-year-old journalist has sparked global concern for his welfare.

Khashoggi 'did not feel safe' in Saudi

Khashoggi 'did not feel safe' in Saudi

The writer told Sky News that the UK should not stand for Riyadh's lack of political reform

He went to the consulate on 2 October to obtain paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was reportedly waiting outside the building for him.

A Turkish official told the Reuters news agency that they fear Mr Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in a premeditated murder and his body removed from the building.

Mr Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice, pictured waiting in front of the consulate, has not seen him since he entered the building Image: Mr Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice has not seen him since he entered the building

Ankara has provided no evidence that Mr Khashoggi was killed in the building.

Saudi Arabia calls the accusation "baseless", but has also offered nothing to prove he ever left the building.

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Turkish authorities are set to search the site after announcing that Saudi Arabia had declared itself "open to co-operation" in the investigation, but no date has been announced for the search.

He had not been seen since he entered the consulate on Tuesday Image: The journalist has not been seen since he entered the consulate on 2 October

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Saudi consulate "must and will" prove where Mr Khashoggi is, saying the Saudis "cannot save themselves" by claiming the outspoken journalist left the building.

Jamal Khashoggi 'was killed inside Saudi consulate'

Jamal Khashoggi 'was killed inside Saudi consulate'

Reports suggest Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was "cut into pieces".

Mr Khashoggi, who was living in self-imposed exile in the US and working for the Washington Post before his disappearance, was a frequent critic of the kingdom's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he described as a "brash and abrasive young innovator" who was "acting like Putin".

Who is Jamal Khashoggi?

Who is Jamal Khashoggi?

The prominent journalist has interviewed Osama bin Laden and likened the Saudi Crown Prince to Vladimir Putin

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh are at a low point due to Turkey's support for Qatar in its year-long dispute with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. Turkey sent food to Qatar and deployed troops at its military base there.

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