British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned of “serious consequences” if Turkish officials’ doubts that the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside Saudi consulate in Istanbul during his visit were confirmed.
In a statement reported by the British Sky News website Thursday, Hunt expressed his country’s “deep concern” about Khashoggi’s disappearance.
He said in this regard: “People who have long thought of themselves as friends of Saudi Arabia are saying that this is a very, very serious matter.”
He added: “If these allegations are proved, there will be serious consequences because our friendships and partnerships are based on common values.”
The British minister clarified: “We are very disturbed.”
Hunt had warned Tuesday, in a tweet, that his country would deal “seriously” with the incident of Khashoggi’s disappearance if media reports are correct.
The prominent Saudi journalist disappeared after he entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, told reporters that she had accompanied him to the Saudi consulate and that he entered the building and did not get out of it. However, the consulate denied that and said that Khashoggi had visited the consulate, but then left.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned for the first time the Ambassador of Riyadh to Ankara Wednesday before last, a day after Khashoggi’s disappearance, before being summoned for the second time on Sunday for the same reason.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also asked the Saudi consulate officials to prove Khashoggi’s exit by presenting video recordings.
Last Saturday, the Istanbul prosecutor announced an investigation into the disappearance of the Saudi journalist.