Trump defends Saudi Arabia ties despite Khashoggi murder

0
52

US President Donald TrumpImage copyright
EPA

Image caption

The president called Saudi Arabia a “steadfast partner” in his statement

US President Donald Trump has strongly defended ties with Saudi Arabia despite international condemnation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

The kingdom is a “steadfast partner” that has agreed to invest “a record amount of money” in the US, Mr Trump said in a statement.

The president acknowledged Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “could very well” have known about Khashoggi’s murder.

“In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Mr Khashoggi was murdered on 2 October on a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia has blamed the killing on rogue agents but denied claims that the Crown Prince had knowledge of the operation.

However, the CIA reportedly believes Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the murder – an assessment that is at odds with President Trump’s.

“[It] could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”, Mr Trump’s statement said.

In an interview on Sunday, the president told Fox News that he had refused to listen to a recording of Khashoggi’s murder provided by Turkey, calling it “a suffering tape”.

Source link