Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has denied “any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate” regarding the missing Saudi journalist. The Crown Prince, who has had a strong relationship with the Trump administration, made these assertions during a phone call with United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
In two tweets yesterday afternoon, the US President remarked, “Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate. He was with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly.”
President Trump also said, “I think we have to find out what happened first. Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that,” regarding the allegations against Saudi Arabia.
United States and international lawmakers have criticised Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed over the issue with several global leaders and business people pulling out of a planned investment conference in Saudi Arabia in response to the allegations.
Two weeks ago, a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul to acquire the documents he needed for his planned marriage and was never seen again. Turkish officials have claimed the Saudis murdered Khashoggi – an allegation the Saudis have vehemently denied. The journalist, who resided in the United States and wrote for the Washington Post, was critical of the Saudi government and called for reforms in his articles.
Crown Prince Mohammed is the son of King Salman and was appointed by his father to the position of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in June 2017 after the King removed his nephew, Muhammad bin Nayef from the post.
The Crown Prince met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Riyadh on Tuesday.