UN 'concern' over Khashoggi disapperance relayed to Saudis

Jamal Khashoggi, pictured in the Bahraini capital Manama on December 15, 2014, was strangled and dismembered by Saudi agents

UN officials have expressed their "concern" to Saudi Arabia over the unexplained disappearance in Turkey of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday.

"We have no independent information," Stephane Dujarric told reporters when asked about Guterres's response to the affair.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who has been critical of the Saudi government, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Turkish officials have said the journalist was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents, a charge Riyadh denies, insisting he left the mission a short time later.

Contacts have taken place between UN officials and Saudi representatives to express "concern about Khashoggi and his fate," Dujarric said.

He said they were made in New York, but gave no details about who was involved. The UN also has been in contact with the Turks, he said.

Dujarric said Guterres has always strongly defended journalists and "is not shy on this issue."

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, who heads the UN General Assembly, supports "an independent and impartial investigation" into Khashoggi's disappearance, her spokeswoman Monica Villela Grayly said.

Diplomats said that so far no country has raised the issue of Khashoggi's disappearance before the UN Security Council.