King Salman and Recep Tayyip Erdogan
King Salman and Recep Tayyip Erdogan Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday evening held a telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he thanked the president for welcoming the Kingdom’s proposal to form a joint working group to discuss the disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, reported Arab News.

King Salman stressed the Kingdom’s keenness to protect its relations with Ankara and asserted that no one will affect the strength of this relationship.

Erdogan, according to the report, also expressed his appreciation for the distinguished relations between the two countries and their peoples and his keenness to strengthen and develop them.

Turkish police concluded last weekend that Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist who was also a contributor to The Washington Post, was murdered inside the Saudi mission in Istanbul after going missing.

The Turkish newspaper Sabah reported on Saturday that Khashoggi had entered the Saudi consulate with an Apple iWatch smartwatch that documented his interrogation and murder.

According to the report, Khashoggi first approached the consul's room and was then dragged by two senior intelligence officers to a second room where he was interrogated and tortured until he was murdered.

The report said that the Saudis realized that he had recorded the murder only at a later stage and managed to erase only some of the files. His phone remained with his fiancée, and she transferred the phone to the Turkish security forces, who reportedly managed to recover the files and listen to the recordings.

US President Donald Trump last week demanded that Saudi Arabia provide answers over the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Trump said he had talked "more than once" and "at the highest levels" to partners in Saudi Arabia and stressed, "We're demanding everything. We cannot let this happen, to reporters, to anybody.”

Khashoggi, 59, was a former government advisor who went into exile last year after 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman rose to power underneath his father the king.

He has been critical of the monarchy's continued arrest of critics on both the left and right, despite its professed reforms.

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