Published: Tue, November 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Saudi King's Speech Makes No Mention of Slain Journalist

Saudi King's Speech Makes No Mention of Slain Journalist

The Houthis also said they were ready for a broader ceasefire if the Saudi-led coalition "wants peace".

The Saudi foreign minister also called on Ankara to submit its evidence in the Khashoggi case to the Saudi Public Prosecution and help them in reaching all the facts, pointing out that Ankara confirmed that the Crown Prince was not the intended person in their accusations.

"We in the kingdom know that such allegations about the crown prince have no basis in truth and we categorically reject them, whether through leaks or not", Adel al-Jubeir said in an interview with Ashaq al-Awsat newspaper in remarks published on Tuesday.

Western countries have provided arms as well as intelligence and logistical support to the Arab states in the Saudi-led alliance, but have shown increasing reservations about the war since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul last month.

World leaders, many of whom are expected at the G20 summit, have strongly condemned Khashoggi's slaying and have urged Saudi Arabia to hold everyone involved in the killing accountable.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said his administration will get "a very full report", including who was responsible for Khashoggi's death, today or tomorrow.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is thought to be a key piece to United States attempts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, though the scandal surrounding Khashoggi's killing has thrown a shadow over those efforts.

Saudi investigators say a 15-man team sent to Istanbul exceeded their authority when the lead negotiator chose to kill Khashoggi for refusing orders to return to Saudi Arabia.

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Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and one-time royal insider who had been critical of the crown prince recently, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, criticised the Saudi announcement and insisted the killing was "premeditated".

Monday's speech highlighted the kingdom's priorities for the coming year, focusing on issues such as the war in Yemen, security for Palestinians, stability in the oil market, countering rival Iran and job creation for Saudis.

Earlier on Monday, the Houthis announced a halt to drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies, in one of its biggest concessions since the rebels left the southern Yemeni port city of Aden in 2015.

In the latest version, the Saudi prosecutor said a 15-member team went to Istanbul to bring Khashoggi back to the kingdom "by means of persuasion", but killed him instead in a rogue operation.

The 82-year-old monarch did not directly address the murder of The Washington Post columnist in his speech, but did heap praise on the Saudi judiciary.

The bans bind all members of the European Union's passport-free Schengen zone, suggesting Germany is willing to use its influence as the EU's largest country to push for a tougher line. The rebels say they had been excluded from that government and took power to rectify historic grievances against central authority.

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