Saudi crown prince invites Turkish authorities to search consulate for missing journalist
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Saudi Arabia's crown prince said in an interview published Friday that Turkish authorities were welcome to search the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul for a Saudi journalist critical of his rule who went missing after entering the building.

“The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do,” Mohammed Bin Salman told Bloomberg in an interview conducted Wednesday in Riyadh. “We have nothing to hide.”

Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate on Tuesday. Both countries involved are at odds over where he is: Turkey claims he is still in the consulate, while Saudi Arabia says he left shortly after getting there.

"According to the information we have, this person who is a Saudi citizen is still at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday. "We don't have information to the contrary."


Saud Kabli, the communications director for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, took to Twitter on Friday to deny any involvement on the part of his government in the disappearance.

"Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance is a matter of grave concern to us all," he tweeted. "The relevant authorities are doing everything possible to investigate this. We categorically reject any insinuations of holding @JKhashoggi."

Khashoggi's case has brought increased attention to the Prince Mohammed's crackdown on dissent.

The Washington Post, which Khashoggi has contributed to, ran an editorial Friday emphasizing his disappearance as part of a larger effort to silence critics.

"His criticism, voiced over the past year, most surely rankles Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to crown prince last year and has carried out a wide-ranging campaign to silence dissent while trying to modernize the kingdom," it read.

"Among those in his prisons for political speech are clerics, bloggers, journalists and activists. He imprisoned women who agitated for the right to drive, a right that was granted even as they were punished." 

Prince Mohammed defended himself to Bloomberg, painting those jailed as security threats.

“Here we are trying to get rid of extremism and terrorism without civil war, without stopping the country from growing,” he said. “So if there is a small price in that area, it’s better than paying a big debt to do that move.”

Khashoggi, who has worked closely with the Saudi royalty in the past, said last year that he moved to the U.S. out of fear of arrest.

“I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice,” he wrote in the Washington Post.

“To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak when so many cannot.”