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

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.”


Give your heart to everything you do, says Duchess of York

Updated 4 min 27 sec ago

Give your heart to everything you do, says Duchess of York

  • Sarah Ferguson delighted by warm welcome in Riyadh during Misk Global Forum

RIYADH: Sarah Ferguson, Britain’s Duchess of York, said that she was moved by the warm welcome she has received from the people of Saudi Arabia. She added that it was a reflection of the good example set by the country’s rulers.

Fergie, as she is known worldwide, said she was excited and thrilled to visit the Kingdom to appear at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh.

“I love the feeling of kindness that I’m getting from the people of Saudi Arabia,” she told Arab News on Wednesday which, appropriately, was International Kindness Day. “Everyone has been so nice here in Riyadh; I think that comes from good leadership.”

She compared this wonderful reception to her experiences in other places “where people are judgmental of you,” adding: “I don’t feel that here. I feel people are embracing me as ‘Sarah’ and that is such a beautiful feeling.”

The duchess said that she hoped to return to Saudi Arabia to help the government build health centers in less-developed areas. But she admitted that it can be tough sometimes to keep going.

“We are all human and have human failings, so the best we can do is keep battling on,” she said. “It’s hard not to beat yourself up sometimes, if you’re feeling down or upset.”

Ferguson revealed that her inspiration is her daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, and that she has always tried her best to be a “great mum,” urging them to “learn from my actions rather than my words.”

She added: “If your actions are of honesty and kindness and you unintentionally trip up on the way” people are likely to see you are good-hearted.

The duchess was open about her own bad decisions which, she said, happened because she believed everyone thought the way she did.

“They didn’t, and I didn’t realize that,” she said. Despite past betrayals, she said still trusts and believes in people, and has passed on the lessons she learned the hard way to her children: “I have taught my daughters not to fall into those traps.”

In the past, she said, some people in Britain might have viewed her philanthropic work as “attention seeking,” but did not let that divert her from a path of kindness and a desire to do good.

The duchess later hosted a showcase of her retail brand, which includes room infusers, flavored teas, and jewelry. She said all profits from the jewelry sales will be used to help children through a trust she founded in partnership with the charity Humanitas.

Ferguson was invited to attend the Misk forum by Badr Al-Asakir, head of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s private office. The prince is chairman of the Misk Initiative Center.

During a panel discussion on Tuesday titled “The Resilient Philanthropreneur,” the duchess shared her experiences of working to help children worldwide, and the resilience and persistence it had required.

“Don’t let anyone doubt you and, especially, don’t doubt yourself,” she said, encouraging people to keep an “open mind” and pursue the path they believe is right.

“Give your heart to everything you do,” was her parting advice to young people.