WASHINGTON: The outcry in the US demonizing Saudi Arabia over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul threatens US-Saudi strategic ties, the former Saudi intelligence chief warned on Wednesday.
“We value our strategic relationship with the United States and hope to sustain it. We hope the United States reciprocates in kind,” Prince Turki Al-Faisal said in an address to the National Council on US-Arab Relations, a non-profit advocacy organization.
Prince Turki, to whom Khashoggi once served as an adviser, has served as an ambassador to London and Washington. He denounced what he called “the demonization of Saudi Arabia.”
Recalling that more than 70 years of US-Saudi ties survived previous crises, Prince Turki said: “Nowadays, this relationship is once again threatened.”
“The tragic and unjustified” slaying of Khashoggi “is the theme of today’s onslaught and demonization of Saudi Arabia in the same fashion as the previous crises. The intensity and gleefulness of it is equally unfair,” he said. “Subjecting our relationship to this issue is not healthy at all.”
Prince Turki reiterated that the Kingdom is committed to bringing to justice those responsible for Khashoggi’s murder “and whoever else failed to uphold the law.”
The US-Saudi relationship “is too big to fail,” Prince Turki said. Those ties, he noted, transcend oil production, trade, arms sales and investment to include cooperation on Middle East peace efforts, stabilizing oil markets, fighting extremism and containing Iran.