Saudi Arabia branded MURDERED Khashoggi a ‘DANGEROUS Islamist’ in phone call

Perspectives Leon Levy

Mohammed bin Salman 'told White House' Khashoggi was a dangerous Islamist

LONDON-A month after the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, the Trump administration has chose to stand by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, having concluded that he is nearly certain to retain his grip on power despite a growing worldwide consensus that he bears responsibility for the killing, officials familiar with the deliberations said.

The cutting of aid by Gates Foundation came amidst reports that Crown Prince Salman had disparaged Khashoggi as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in talks with U.S. officials, after the journalist's murder.

One Israeli official said, "Saudi Arabia is a very important state in the region, and Israel and other nations have a major interest in ensuring its continued stability".

Turkey has steered away from publicly blaming Saudi Arabia for the killing.

The crown prince stated Khashoggi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, prior to Saudi Arabia formally acknowledging it was responsible for the journalist's death.

Israeli officials confirmed the Post's report to the Ynet news site, saying Netanyahu urged officials in Washington not to allow the close relationship with the Saudi crown prince to be undermined by the incident.

In a statement to the newspaper, Khashoggi's family denied he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and said the murdered writer had himself denied this repeatedly in recent years.

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Turkish officials appear to have dismissed a theory that Jamal Khashoggi's body was given to a mystery local collaborator in Istanbul. "To claim otherwise would be ridiculous", the statement said.

It emerged this week that bin Salman called Khashoggi a "dangerous Islamist" in a phone call with advisor to Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, just before Turkish police said they believed the missing journalist was dead. He entered the consulate to sort out documents for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. The Saudi attorney general then acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated murder.

On Wednesday Turkey said he was strangled immediately after entering the consulate and his body dismembered "in accordance with plans made in advance".

When he first disappeared, it said Khashoggi had walked out of the building alive.

Turkey is trying to extradite 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia so they can be tried in a Turkish court.

A Saudi official yesterday denied the Crown Prince made the allegations, saying that "routine calls do exist from time to time" between the royal and United States leaders but that "no such commentary was conveyed".

"The Trump administration has taken a position that is devoid of moral foundation", she wrote, adding that "there will be no cover-up".

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