UN wants Turkey, Saudi Arabia to investigate disappearance of Washington Post columnist

UN wants Turkey, Saudi Arabia to investigate disappearance of Washington Post columnist
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The United Nations (U.N.) on Tuesday called on Turkey and Saudi Arabia to investigate the disappearance of prominent Saudi Arabian journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

“Yes, this is of serious concern, the apparent enforced disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said at a Geneva news briefing, according to Reuters.

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“If reports of his death and the extraordinary circumstances leading up to it are confirmed, this is truly shocking,” she added.

Khashoggi, an opinion writer for The Washington Post, was known for his critical views on Riyadh. He had recently left his country, citing concerns over Saudi Arabia's crackdown on free speech.

Last week, he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he intended to obtain a document necessary to marry his fiancee. He reportedly never left, and Turkish sources later told Reuters that he had been killed inside the consulate.

Saudi Arabia has claimed that Khashoggi did indeed leave the consulate, a claim that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday asked Riyadh to prove. 

Members of the Trump administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill have expressed deep concern over the incident. 

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoReporter presses Pompeo on whether he met with Giuliani in Warsaw Pompeo: 'I wish the NBA would acknowledge' China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims Dem senator urges Pompeo to fire State official accused of retaliation, harassment MORE also called for Saudi Arabia to back a “thorough investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation,” Pompeo said in a statement. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE has also expressed concern over the incident. Khashoggi is a U.S. resident.

“I am concerned about that,” Trump told reporters Monday. “I don't like hearing about it and hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now, nobody knows anything about it.” 

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Monday he brought up concerns surrounding Khashoggi’s fate with the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

“Our thoughts are with #JamalKhashoggi’s family and colleagues at the @washingtonpost. I have raised Jamal's disappearance personally with the Saudi ambassador, and while we await more information, know we will respond accordingly to any state that targets journalists abroad,” he tweeted.

Saudi Arabia is one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East, and some Republicans have questioned if the incident could strain the two countries’ ties. 

“We agree if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid — economically and otherwise … Our country’s values should be and must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy with foes and allies alike,” Trump ally Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Democrats to offer resolution demanding Trump reverse Syria decision Army officer calls Syria pullback 'a stain on the American conscience' MORE (R-S.C.) tweeted Monday.