Khashoggi death: US meets Saudi crown prince despite criticism | 2018-10-23 |

Khashoggi death: US meets Saudi crown prince despite criticism

BBC     23rd October, 2018 08:58:22 printer

Khashoggi death: US meets Saudi crown prince despite criticism


A senior US official has held talks with Saudi Arabia's crown prince in Riyadh, despite growing concern over the Saudis' role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met Mohammed bin Salman on Monday.


Turkish officials say Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after a visit on 2 October.


Saudi officials have given a series of conflicting accounts, but now say a "rogue operation" was to blame.


They initially said Mr Khashoggi had left the consulate on the same day he visited it. Last Friday they admitted for the first time he was dead and said he had been killed in a "fist fight".


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will reveal the "naked truth" of the matter in parliament on Tuesday.


What do we know of the Riyadh talks?


Saudi state media reported that Mr Mnuchin and the crown prince had stressed "the importance of the Saudi-US strategic partnership".


The meeting in the Saudi capital was held behind closed doors and the US has so far made no public comment on the talks.


They were held despite the fact that Mr Mnuchin - like a number of other Western politicians and businessmen - had pulled out of a major investment forum being held in the Saudi capital this week.


President Donald Trump's latest comment suggests the US is yet to decide on its response.


"I am not satisfied with what I've heard," Mr Trump told reporters at the White House.


But he added: "I don't want to lose all that investment that's been made in our country," referring to the multi-billion-dollar arms deals with Saudi Arabia.


He said: "We're going to get to the bottom of it."


Mr Trump also said he had discussed the issue with the Saudi crown prince, seen as the country's most powerful figure.


The Saudis say they have arrested 18 people, sacked two aides of Mohammed bin Salman and set up a body, under his leadership, to reform the intelligence agency over the killing.