Saudi crown prince dismisses Trump remarks about reliance on U.S.

Monday, 08 Oct, 2018

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has welcomed Turkey to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul following the disapperance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi who entered the mission earlier this week.

"In 2019, we will have more than 20 services that will be privatised, a lot of them in water, agriculture, energy and some of it in sports", the prince said in an interview with Bloomberg published on Friday.

"Ever since the relationship started between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, we've bought everything with money", he told Bloomberg in an interview. "Until otherwise demonstrated, he is still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the Saudi authorities are responsible for his safety and well-being", she said in a statement.

Further, his most recent pieces had been translated into Arabic, something which Ali Shihabi said was particularly contentious in his discussion about why a recent tweet from the Canadian ambassador spurred a major rift with Saudi Arabia.

"According to the information we have, this person who is a Saudi citizen is still at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul".

The 59-year-old Khashoggi went missing Tuesday while on a visit to the consulate for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiance.

A man holds a picture of missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, by a barrier that blocks the road leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, as people gather in his support, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. It called on Turkey to deepen its investigation into the case.

"Since yesterday, contacts have been continuing between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to overcome the problem related to Khashoggi", the source said.

The Post ran a blank column in its Friday edition, tweeting: "We are holding a spot for Jamal Khashoggi in Friday's newspaper".

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old veteran journalist who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since Prince Mohammed's rise to power, disappeared Tuesday while on a visit to the consulate to get paperwork done to be married to his Turkish fiancée.

Sophie Anmuth, head of the Middle East desk for Reporters Without Borders, called on both governments to ensure Khashoggi reappears quickly.

An official with the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., told NPR's Jackie Northam that Khashoggi was neither in the consulate nor in custody.

On Thursday the official Saudi Press Agency cited the consulate as saying it was working with Turkish authorities to probe Mr Khashoggi's disappearance "after he left the consulate building".

As a contributor to the Post, Khashoggi has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.

Prince Mohammed downplayed any apparent rift with the USA leader and said relations between the two allies remains strong.

As others have noted, this incident will likely heighten existing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Turkey that have been reawakened in light of the GCC rift, in which Turkey has decidedly sided with Qatar, ramping up trade relations and enhancing military ties with the blockaded state.