TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed Turkey to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul following the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi who entered the mission earlier this week.
In an interview with Bloomberg, published on Friday, bin Salman said Saudi Arabia is "very keen to know what happened" to the Saudi citizen, adding "we have nothing to hide".
Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident critical of the country's crown prince, entered the consulate's premises on Tuesday in what seemed to be a routine visit to sort out paperwork, before disappearing.
"We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises," bin Salman said.
"The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do. If they ask for that, of course, we will allow them," the 33-year-old crown prince said.
Saudi and Turkish officials have made conflicting statements on the whereabouts of Khashoggi, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since he fled the kingdom in September 2017.
Turkey's presidential spokesperson said on Wednesday that Khashoggi remains inside the Saudi consulate, a day after his fiancée reported he had failed to emerge from a meeting in the mission.
In contrast, a Saudi official quoted by the Reuters news agency said the journalist was "not in the consulate nor in Saudi custody".
Bin Salman said that the 59-year-old writer is not inside the consulate, adding that the foreign ministry is investigating to see exactly what happened at the time.
On Thursday, Turkey's foreign ministry summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Ankara "for consultations" over the critic's disappearance.
Khashoggi is a prominent columnist for the Washington Post and has long criticized the Saudi government's reform program under the auspices of the crown prince, commonly known as MBS.