Saudi warns crown prince a ‘red line’ in Khashoggi probe

Saul Bowman
November 24, 2018

US Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), who will head the House Intelligence Committee in the next Congress, is set to probe the CIA assessment of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's involvement in the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

His comments came as the United States president praised Saudi Arabia for keeping oil prices low - one strand of his argument against punishing Riyadh even though the Central Intelligence Agency reportedly found strong evidence that the crown prince, the de facto Saudi leader, was involved in the murder.

Trump insists there's not enough evidence to blame the crown prince for Khashoggi's killing, despite a US intelligence report's assessment to the contrary. "We're looking at the program".

He wouldn't comment on U.S. President Donald Trump's defense of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, accused by U.S. intelligence officials of ordering the writer's killing.

Trump has been the Crown Prince's most powerful global ally during the fallout of Khashoggi's death, standing by the 33-year-old heir to the Saudi throne and prioritizing the US' relationship with the kingdom. "Saudi Arabia has an important role in the Arab region".

Schiff told the paper that the committee will do a "deep dive" on Saudi Arabia to survey issues, including the ongoing war in Yemen, and how "the kingdom is treating its critics or members of the press generally".

Turkish news channel Haber quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying yesterday that he would not meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman during a visit to Argentina for the G20 summit.

Mr Khashoggi, a journalist and staunch critic of the Saudi rulers, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October after entering to obtain documents so he could marry his Turkish fiancee.

For its part, Saudi Arabia has said that 21 people are in custody, with death penalties sought against five men. "We have investigations ongoing and we will punish the individuals who are responsible for this", he said. We've watched the Saudis actually move in that direction during our time in office as well.

"Money doesn't mean everything", Cavusoglu said, referring to Trump's continued support for Saudi Arabia, which has committed billions of dollars in USA weapons contracts.

"The prime minister has hinted at some of those complexities, but we've reached the point, or we're beyond the point, where it's tenable anymore for us to be providing military equipment to the Saudi regime and if there are consequences then I think that we can deal with them", said Paris.

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