Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador condemns ‘malicious leaks and grim rumors’ surrounding Khashoggi disappearance

Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US. (SPA)
Updated 09 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador condemns ‘malicious leaks and grim rumors’ surrounding Khashoggi disappearance

  • Prince Khaled bin Salman condemned the “outrageous” claims about the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
  • Prince Khaled said the aim is to 'chase every lead to uncover the truth behind his disappearance'

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States has condemned the “outrageous” claims about the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a “personal message” reported by Al-Arabiya Prince Khaled bin Salman said he wanted to address the “malicious leaks and grim rumors flying around about Jamal’s whereabouts and fate.”

“I assure you that the reports that suggest that Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the Consulate in Istanbul or that the Kingdom’s authorities have detained him or killed him are absolutely false, and baseless,” Prince Khaled said in the statement released on Monday evening.

“Jamal has many friends in the Kingdom, including myself, and despite our differences, and his choice to go into his so called ‘self-exile,’ we still maintained regular contact when he was in Washington.”

Khashoggi went missing in Istanbul last week. 

A security delegation consisting of Saudi investigators arrived in Istanbul on Saturday to take part in the investigations.

Prince Khaled said the aim is to “chase every lead to uncover the truth behind his disappearance.”

“We will not spare any effort to locate him, just as we would if it were any other Saudi citizen.”

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The Saudi ambassador’s full statement can be read below:

“I am sure you are following the news stories about Jamal Khashoggi. There are many facts regarding his whereabouts that will hopefully be revealed through the ongoing investigation. Despite that, we have seen over the last few days various malicious leaks and grim rumors flying around about Jamal's whereabouts and fate.

“I would normally prefer not to address such outrageous claims, especially when it concerns the wellbeing of a missing citizen who dedicated a great portion of his life to serve his country. It goes without saying that his family in the Kingdom remain gravely concerned about him, and so are we. Jamal has many friends in the Kingdom, including myself, and despite our differences, and his choice to go into his so called “self-exile,” we still maintained regular contact when he was in Washington.

“I know many in Washington, and the world over share this concern for his wellbeing. I assure you that the reports that suggest that Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the Consulate in Istanbul or that the Kingdom’s authorities have detained him or killed him are absolutely false, and baseless. The first reports out of Turkey were that he exited the Consulate and then disappeared. Shortly after the relevant authorities in the Kingdom became engaged in his case, the accusations changed to him being held inside the Consulate. After Turkish authorities and the media were allowed to inspect the Consulate building in its entirety, the accusations changed to the outrageous claim that he was murdered, in the Consulate, during business hours, and with dozens of staff and visitors in the building. I don't know who is behind these claims, or their intentions, nor do I care frankly.

“What we do care about is Jamal’s wellbeing, and revealing the truth about what occurred. Jamal is a Saudi citizen who went missing after leaving the Consulate. This was not his first visit to the Consulate in Istanbul, as he regularly came to the Consulate (as well as the Embassy in Washington) in the last few months for citizen services. The Saudi Consulate is fully cooperating with the local authorities to uncover what happened after he left.

“In addition, the Kingdom has sent a security team, with the Turkish government's approval, to work with their Turkish counterparts on the investigation. Our aim is to chase every lead to uncover the truth behind his disappearance.

“Though the situation is extraordinary, these measures are not. Jamal is a Saudi citizen whose safety and security is a top priority for the Kingdom, just as is the case with any other citizen. We will not spare any effort to locate him, just as we would if it were any other Saudi citizen.”


Youth pillars of reform plan, future of Saudi Arabia

Updated 15 min 25 sec ago
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Youth pillars of reform plan, future of Saudi Arabia

  • A survey last year showed that 92 percent of young Saudis interviewed expressed a positive view of the outcome of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030

RIYADH: Young people in Saudi Arabia are the pillars of the country’s reform plan and the future of the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal as saying.
The prince said that 70 percent of the country’s population were aged between 15 and 35, and that young people and sports were two key elements of the Vision 2030 reform plan.
“We rely heavily on the programs offered by the state in various fields of sports, the arts and entertainment for young men and women, and I hope that we always offer the best to Saudi Arabia, the Arab world and the Islamic world.”
The prince was in Cairo, attending a meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers of Youth and Sports. He said in a press statement that the Kingdom put forward many proposals throughout the year and that ministries responded positively to youth activities. 
“The Kingdom has responded positively to many of the resolutions recommended during the meeting,” he said, adding that he hoped Arab youths would benefit from the outcome of these recommendations and meetings.
SPA reported last week that young Saudis were being trained to deal with the international media as part of a project to promote the Kingdom around the world.
A survey last year showed that 92 percent of young Saudis interviewed expressed a positive view of the outcome of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030.