After weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia has for the first time confirmed that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
The kingdom claimed early on Saturday that the Washington Post columnist died after a “fist fight” inside the building and 18 Saudi citizens were arrested over the killing.
Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing on October 2 after entering the consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents needed for his upcoming marriage.
Saudi officials had previously denied Khashoggi had been killed and dismembered inside the diplomatic facility, insisting he had left the consulate before disappearing.
Here’s a round-up of the first international reaction related to the confirmation of the Saudi journalist’s killing.
Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, is “deeply troubled” by Riyadh’s confirmation of Khashoggi’s death, according to a spokesperson.
The UN chief called for a “prompt, thorough, transparent” probe into the circumstances of the killing and urged full accountability for those who were involved.
“The Secretary-General is deeply troubled by the confirmation of the death of Jamal Khashoggi. He extends his condolences to Mr Khashoggi’s family and friends,” Guterres’s office said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible.”
The United States expressed “sadness” over the death of Khashoggi inside Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Washington acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s announcement and was “closely” following the developments.
“We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process,” Sanders said.
“We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancee, and friends.”
Politicians in the US have reacted with disbelief at claims in Saudi Arabia’s state media that Khashoggi died following a “fist fight”.
“To say that I am sceptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr Khashoggi is an understatement,” prominent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted, adding it was “hard to find this latest ‘explanation’ as credible.”
Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff also questioned the Saudi’s credibility, tweeting: “If he was fighting with those sent to capture or kill him it was for his life. The kingdom must be held to account. If the administration doesn’t lead, Congress must.”