Saudi Arabia, Turkey to form joint investigation into Khashoggi disappearance

Saudi Arabia, Turkey to form joint investigation into Khashoggi disappearance
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Saudi Arabia and Turkey have agreed to form a joint investigative team to look into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of the Saudi government.

The Saudi embassy in Washington in a statement Friday said their country had agreed to form a “bilateral expert-level Joint Action Team, to disclose the merits of the Saudi national Jamal bin Ahmed Hamza Khashoggi's disappearance."

A Saudi official expressed “full confidence" in the investigation.

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The Turkish government had requested the investigation after Khashoggi disappeared. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkish officials claim Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, was killed in the consulate on orders from the Saudi government. Riyadh denies the claim.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that recordings of Saudi consulate officials in Turkey obtained by Turkish investigators and shared with their U.S. counterparts detail how Khashoggi, was tortured, killed and dismembered by a Saudi Arabian security team. 

The disappearance has thrust a wedge in the typically close U.S.-Saudi relationship. 

"Well it would be a really sad thing, and we will probably know in the very short future," President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE said when asked about the report on Fox News Thursday morning. "We don't like it. I don't like it. No good." 

Republicans on Capitol Hill went even further, with 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.) saying that all signs suggested Khashoggi was killed.

"If it's found that they, as everything indicates today...murdered a journalist, that will hugely change our relationship. I mean, there's no question about it," Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters Thursday. 

“With every passing day it looks increasingly likely that he’s dead and the most logical explanation is that he went into the consulate and he never came out and the Saudis had something to do with it,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham warns Trump on Taliban deal in Afghanistan: Learn from 'Obama's mistakes' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan MORE (R-S.C.) said on CNN Thursday. 

“All the indicators point to Saudi Arabia, and if it turns out to be Saudi Arabia, as I’ve said before, there’ll be hell to pay,” he added.

The disappearance has also led to several prominent media outlets and journalists announcing they will no longer be attending the Future Investment Initiative event in Riyadh later this month.