Saudi Prince: Fresh Onslaught on Riyadh over Khashoggi's Murder Threatens US Ties: ずくなしの冷や水


Saudi Prince: Fresh Onslaught on Riyadh over Khashoggi's Murder Threatens US Ties

TEHRAN (FNA)- Former Saudi intelligence chief, to whom Jamal Khashoggi once served as an adviser, has warned against an outcry in the US over the murder of the dissident Saudi journalist, saying that the “onslaught” against Riyadh poses a threat to the “strategic partnership” between the two sides.

Prince Turki bin Faisal made the remarks during an address to the 27th annual Arab-US Policymakers Conference in Washington, press tv reported.

He denounced attacks on Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi’s murder inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate on October 2.

“The tragic and unjustified” slaying of Khashoggi “is the theme of today’s onslaught and demonization of Saudi Arabia in the same fashion as the previous crises. The intensity and gleefulness of it is equally unfair,” he said. “Subjecting our relationship to this issue is not healthy at all.”

Turki also noted that Saudi Arabia’s “strategic relationship” with the US had survived crises for more than 70 years.

“Nowadays, this relationship is once again threatened,” he said, adding, however, that the bilateral ties are “too big to fail."

The Saudi prince further claimed that the kingdom is committed to bringing to justice those responsible for Khashoggi’s death “and whoever else failed to uphold the law.”

Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, entered the consulate in Istanbul to get the papers needed for his marriage, but never left the building.

After weeks of denials of any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi Arabia eventually acknowledged that he had been killed in a “premeditated” operation.

Turkey’s chief prosecutor said Khashoggi had been strangled upon his arrival at the Saudi mission and then dismembered.

Faisal’s comments come as US Congress has stepped up pressure on President Donald Trump to punish the Riyadh regime for the murder, which is widely believed to have been ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

US President Donald Trump has been urged to suspend nuclear talks with Saudi Arabia after the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Several US lawmakers have called for sanctions against the kingdom, while others want Washington to stop its nuclear talks with Saudi Arabia.

However, Trump – who stands accused inside the US and abroad of seeking to cover up the crime – appears to be reluctant to pose any risk to billions of dollars worth of arms deals and investments in the kingdom.

The Trump administration has courted the Saudis as they seek to build tens of billions of dollars worth of nuclear power facilities. The US has also been the major provider of weapons to the Saudi regime amid its bloody war on Yemen.

In fresh comments on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said he does not feel “betrayed” by the Saudis over Khashoggi’s death but “maybe they’ve betrayed themselves.”

“Not betrayed me, no. I just hope that it all works out. We have a lot of facts, we have a lot of things we have been looking at, they have not betrayed me no, we just have to see how it all turns out,” he told reporters at the White House.

Report: MbS Described Khashoggi as Dangerous Islamist in Call with White House
TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman described slain writer Jamal Khashoggi as a dangerous Islamist in a call with top Donald Trump administration officials, according to a report.

The comments were made during a call with National Security Advisor John Bolton and the US president's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner before Riyadh publicly acknowledged it killed Khashoggi, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

In the call, MbS urged Kushner and Bolton to preserve the US-Saudi alliance and stated that the journalist was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group long opposed by Bolton and other senior Trump officials.

A person familiar with the discussion announced that Bolton did not signal that he endorsed the Prince Mohammad’s characterization of Khashoggi during the call.

A Saudi official has denied that the crown prince made the allegations, saying that “routine calls do exist from time to time” between the young leader and top US officials but that “no such commentary was conveyed”.

Khashoggi, known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia's policies, went missing on October 2 after entering the kingdom consulate in Turkish city of Istanbul to obtain a marriage document. Ankara has accused Riyadh of murdering the Khashoggi and smuggling his body out of the consulate in pieces. After two weeks of denial by Saudi officials, Riyadh confessed that Khashoggi had been murdered by its security agents at the Istanbul consulate, but made no mention of where his body is. It also sacked a top general and arrested several people.

Four weeks after the Saudi writer vanished, the details of his killing are still murky and the cause of his death is unknown. Officials in Riyadh have come up with shaky explanations for Khashoggi's demise; first stressing that he left the consulate alive, then stating that he was killed accidentally in a fistfight, and finally alleging a "rogue operation" unbeknownst to the Saudi rulers.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that the killing of Khashoggi inside the kingdom's consulate was "planned" and “brutal” murder, asking Riyadh to extradite the 18 arrested suspects to Turkey to face justice for the crime. But, Riyadh stressed that the suspected killers of Khashoggi will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia, refusing calls from Turkey for their extradition, after Ankara said it is planning to demand the kingdom extradite 18 suspects in the killing of the well-known journalist.

In the first official comment in the case that has caused a global outrage, the office of city's chief prosecutor said on Wednesday that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and then his body was dismembered.

"In accordance with plans made in advance, the victim, Jamal Khashoggi, was choked to death immediately after entering the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, for marriage formalities," the statement said.

"The victim's body was dismembered and destroyed following his death by suffocation - again, in line with advance plans," it added.

In a statement, the prosecutor's office described three days of meetings with Saud Al-Mujab, Saudi public prosecutor, as producing "no concrete results".

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