Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry yesterday denied recent reports which claimed that the kingdom had expelled the Turkish ambassador over the disappearance of the missing Saudi dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
The state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted an official source at the foreign ministry as saying that the allegations were "totally baseless."
The ministry's statement came in response to a recent report by Reuters, claiming that the Saudi government had issued an order of expelling the Turkish ambassador from the kingdom.
Last Tuesday, Khashoggi was reported missing after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to secure documentation for a forthcoming marriage, according to his fiancée who has waited for him outside the diplomatic building.
The disappearance of Khashoggi, previously a prominent newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and an adviser to its former head of intelligence, has sparked global concern, particularly after Turkish sources said over the weekend that authorities believed he was killed inside the consulate. The Saudi government has dismissed the allegations, saying that Khashoggi left the same day he entered the consulate building.
Human rights groups have called on Saudi Arabia to verify Khashoggi's whereabouts after Turkish and Saudi authorities offered conflicting accounts of his disappearance.