Monitoring Report: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir again came to the rescue of Crown Prince Mohammaed Bin Salman on Wednesday, explaining to media that Saudi-born journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder was an unfortunate accident and any discussion that MBD was responsible and may not take the thrown is “outrageous”.
In a series of interviews on Wednesday, Adel al-Jubeir reiterated that calls for Prince Mohammed to be held accountable for Khashoggi’s shocking killing are a “red line”.
“We will not tolerate any discussion of anything that is disparaging towards our monarch or our crown prince,” Jubeir told the BBC.
On other television networks, Jubeir steadfastly defended Prince Mohammed despite a CIA assessment reportedly saying there was “high probability” that he ordered the murder.
“We have made it very clear that Saudi Arabia’s government is not involved in this and the crown prince is not involved in this at all,” he told US network CNBC.
The foreign minister was also asked about a Reuter news agency report this week that quoted Saudi sources saying a move was in play to prevent Prince Mohammed from ascending the thrown once his father, King Salman, 82, dies.
“These are outrageous comments that have been made and are totally unacceptable. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to its leadership,” he said.
“The crown prince has the confidence of every Saudi citizen, including King Salman. The crown prince is the architect and driving force behind the reform programme in Saudi Arabia and the Vision of 2030,” Jubeir told CBS.
Khashoggi – a US resident who wrote for The Washington Post and had been critical of Prince Mohammed – was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, killed and reportedly dismembered.
After lengthy denials, Saudi authorities admitted responsibility and said 21 people involved in the “rogue operation” had been taken into custody.
“We have made that very clear. We have investigations ongoing and we will punish the individuals who are responsible for this,” said Jubeir.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the United States would not take punitive measures against the kingdom or the crown prince over Khashoggi’s murder.