WASHINGTON: Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Friday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not order the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“We know that this was not an authorized operation. There was no order given to conduct this operation,” Al-Jubeir told members of the US media in Washington.
Al-Jubeir said he could not comment on a New York Times story on Thursday in which anonymous sources alleged the crown prince made a threat against Khashoggi in 2017.
Saudi Arabia late last year indicted 11 people for the killing at the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against five of them.
The minister said it was “preposterous” for other countries to think that they can dictate what the Saudi leadership should do in handling the case.
He said the Saudi judiciary is committed to holding those involved in the killing of Khashoggi to account.
Al-Jubeir said he hoped the US Congress would take a step back and await the results of the investigation into Khashoggi’s death.
The Trump administration has said there is no direct evidence of the crown prince’s involvement, and has stressed the vital importance of relations between Washington and Riyadh.
Al-Jubeir met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington late on Thursday. During the meeting, they discussed the strategic partnership between the two countries as well as the latest regional developments.
Earlier, Al-Jubeir affirmed the Kingdom’s ongoing commitment to the objectives of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh in working together to combat terrorism and extremism.
“My country’s government will continue its fight against terrorism and its sponsoring countries, and pledges to support all international and regional efforts to eliminate terrorist organizations and the activities of destabilizing states in the region.”
The minister added: “We believe that our war against terrorism must include combating its funding and rhetoric that justifies violence and terrorism.”