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CORRECTION 1ST LEAD US investigators assisting Turkey in Khashoggi probe, Trump says By dpa correspondents

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Washington (dpa) - US President Donald Trump called the suspicious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi "terrible" and said US investigators were assisting Turkey in a probe of the case.

"I don‘t like it. I don‘t like it with respect to reporters. It‘s a terrible, terrible precedent," Trump told Fox News on Thursday.

Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to deal with paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancee.

"We are being very tough and we have investigators over there working with Turkey, and frankly we‘re working with Saudi Arabia ... He went in and it doesn‘t look like he came out," Trump said.

Turkish diplomatic sources were later reported to have denied Trump‘s statement, however. "The information saying that the US appointed an investigator is not true," Turkey‘s state-run news agency Anadolu reported anonymous diplomatic sources as saying.

Saudi Arabia said Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after going in and has denied an allegation lodged by Turkish authorities that he was killed inside.

Trump later told reporters that he didn‘t favour stopping arms sales to Riyadh in retaliation to the alleged killing, but added that "a thing like that should not happen."

The United Nations has made contact with Saudi officials in New York to express concern about the fate of Khashoggi, but are not involved in any investigation, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

The US-educated journalist has repeatedly criticized Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for several decisions, including the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it has been in contact with the crown prince. In his interview with Fox News, the president said US-Saudi relations remained "excellent."


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