Jamal Khashoggi Fiancée Speaks out over Fears for Saudi Writer's Safety

Blank column in The Washington Post

In the face of sustained concern about Khashoggi's whereabouts, the Saudi press have reported that the consulate in Istanbul is, as of Thursday, "carrying out the follow-up procedures and coordination with Turkish local authorities to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he left the consulate building".

"The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do". He entered the building of the consulate, he has to come out of there safe and sound.

Meanwhile, a Saudi official quoted by Reuters claimed that Khashoggi was "not in the consulate nor in Saudi custody". Waves of arrests over the past year have swept up religious figures, business executives and, most recently, Saudi Arabia's most active women's rights advocates.

The Saudi envoy was called in on Wednesday, they said, to clarify the whereabouts of Khashoggi, a critic of Riyadh's foreign policy and its crackdown on dissent who left Saudi Arabia past year saying he feared retribution for his views.

The 59-year-old commentator has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States and working as a contributor to the Washington Post.

"Since yesterday, contacts have been continuing between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to overcome the problem related to Khashoggi", they said.

Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée told media outlets that she waited hours for Khashoggi to emerge from the consulate in Istanbul.

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The Washington Post, where Khashoggi penned columns, printed a blank column in its newspaper Friday in solidarity with journalist.

Prominent Saudi Arabian journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi mysteriously vanished earlier this week and has not been heard from since Tuesday, according to the Post.

Sophie Anmuth, head of the Middle East desk for Reporters Without Borders, called on both governments to ensure Khashoggi reappears quickly.

That the Saudi authorities would potentially risk detaining Khashoggi at a consulate in a country with which ties are already tenuous signals just how important Khashoggi is to Riyadh.

The interview was conducted Wednesday night, after Turkish officials said they believed Khashoggi was still inside the consulate. "Saudi Arabia buys weapons from America and does not take them for free".

Khashoggi regularly called out Saudi policies towards Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen, and a crackdown on dissent and the media in the kingdom. Speaking at a campaign rally in Mississippi, Trump said he loves King Salman but the USA is protecting the king therefore he has to pay for the military backing. Despite the harsh words, the Trump administration has had a close relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it views as a bulwark against Iran's ambitions in the region.

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