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Political statements on Khashoggi case should give way to investigation, says diplomat

Maria Zakharova said Moscow welcomed the joint work launched by the Saudi and Turkish sides

MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. Russia believes that political statements concerning the case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi should give way to an impartial investigation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a press briefing on Thursday.

"We proceed from the premise that political statements must give way to a fact-based, comprehensive and impartial investigation," Zakharova said. "Once the investigation is over in accordance with all the procedures in the legal framework, political statements should and will be made and assessments will be offered."

"The most important thing now is an impartial investigation. We welcomed the joint work launched by the Saudi and Turkish sides in this regard," the diplomat added.

When asked whether White House National Security Adviser John Bolton briefed the Russian leadership on the Khashoggi case, Zakharova said, "I cannot say that the Russian side was informed of anything significant on this matter."

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia's current policy, left his home country and moved to the United States in 2017. The journalist wrote articles for The Washington Post, analyzing the situation in Saudi Arabia and the country's foreign policy, and criticizing Riyadh.

The journalist arrived in the consulate general of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2 to complete paperwork to marry a Turkish citizen and has not been in contact since then. On October 20, Saudi authorities announced that the journalist had been killed while visiting the consulate. Saudi Arabia's Public Prosecutor Saud Al-Moajab declared that 18 Saudi nationals were under investigation, without disclosing their names. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Khashoggi’s murder had been thoroughly planned.