Saudi ambassador, brother of crown prince, returns to Washington


WASHINGTON, Dec 6, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – The Saudi ambassador to the United
States Khalid bin Salman, brother of the powerful crown prince, has returned
to Washington after leaving the US capital in the wake of the murder of
journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an official said Wednesday.

“His Royal Highness the Ambassador is in Washington” embassy spokeswoman
Fatimah Baeshen told AFP.

The diplomat returned to Riyadh in early October shortly after the killing
of the dissident Saudi journalist at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

At the time, the US State Department said it would seek information from
him regarding the incident upon his return.

The ambassador is the brother of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
whose alleged role in ordering the murder is at the heart of a burning
controversy in the US and across the world.

Two key Republican senators said Tuesday a briefing by CIA director Gina
Haspel had only strengthened their conviction Prince Mohammed was behind the
crime — a charge he denies.

According to US media reports, the CIA had evidence that Prince Khalid had
spoken to Khashoggi before his death and assured him that he would be able to
visit the consulate, where he planned to go to get documents he needed to
marry his Turkish fiancee, without any risk to himself.

Prince Khalid has denied what he called a “serious accusation.”

Despite these heavy suspicions, the administration of President Donald
Trump has sought to distance the Saudi leadership from the affair and
insisted there is no direct proof Prince Mohammed ordered the killing.

The Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir meanwhile was also in Washington
Friday to represent his country at the funeral of former president George
H.W. Bush, according to Baeshen.

She did not add whether Jubeir would meet with administration officials
during his stay.