Mohammed bin Salman broke his public silence over the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, describing the killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as an ‘ugly incident that is completely unjustifiable.
Speaking at a business conference in Riyadh, the prince said all perpetrators will be punished, and Saudi Arabia and Turkey are working together to that end.
Buoyed on with support from the audience, bin Salman referred to his father King Salman and himself by name, assuring that so long as they were around, attempts at driving a wedge between his kingdom and Turkey will fail.
Bin Salman even cracked joke about kidnapping, as he faces global outrage over the death of Khashoggi, as he referred to allegations that Lebanon’s premier-designate Saad Hariri was detained in the kingdom last year.
Last November, Hariri mysteriously resigned in a televised address from the Saudi capital, sparking rumours he had been forced to do it.
Bin Salman was sitting beside Hariri when he joked that he “will be staying in the kingdom for two more days, so I hope there are no rumours of his abduction,” before bursting into laughter and shaking Hariri’s hand.
Hariri smiled and offered a wave to the audience who heavily applauded the Crown Prince’s joke.
Source Al Arabiya (YouTube)
Date: 24 October, 2018
The incident that happened is very painful, for all Saudis, and I believe it is painful for any human in the world. It is an ugly incident that is completely unjustifiable.
Today the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undertaking all legal measures to complete the investigations, with the hope – along with the Turkish government – of reaching results, and bringing the perpetrators before a trial and to receive their punishment.
These measures are what any government must do if a painful incident like this happens. Undoubtedly, cooperation between the Saudi and Turkish governments is exceptional, and we know that many are trying to exploit this painful situation, in order to drive a wedge between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. I wish to send them a message from this podium: they will not be able to do this, so long as there is a king in Saudi Arabia named Salman bin Abdul Aziz, and a crown prince named Mohammed bin Salman, and a president in Turkey named Erdogan.
This wedge will not happen, and we will prove to the world that the two governments are in cooperation in order to punish any criminal or perpetrator, and justice will ultimately prevail.
This is what I wished to say on this issue, and furthermore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took great steps to develop the Saudi economy in the last three years, and the hierarchical restructure of many sectors. I believe the time has now come for the restructuring of the national defence sectors of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so that they can match the levels of the economic sectors.