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Khashoggi’s ghost haunts the Saudi Crown Prince

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman tried to pre-empt the release of the final report of the international inquiry into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by giving an interview to journalist Ghassan Charbel of the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday, 16 June.

The Khashoggi crisis has returned to the headlines since the UN report on the investigations into his death was released on Wednesday, just a few days after Bin Salman’s interview was published. Revived diplomatic concerns and clashes include former Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir’s warning to the UN not to take any measures against the Crown Prince or Saudi Arabia.

Bin Salman chose Asharq Al-Awsat as it is close to Saudi Arabia and was thus unlikely to ask the direct and embarrassing questions which US and European journalists would ask. The latter would include questions about the killing of Khashoggi, the siege of Qatar, the cost of normalisation with Israel and, more importantly, the nature of the relationship between the Crown Prince and the Trump administration, especially Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law. In light of this, it was highly unlikely that Bin Salman could appear on Western media platforms without being subjected to a series of embarrassing questions.

READ: UN report concludes MBS is responsible for murder of Khashoggi

The opportunities available to him have narrowed since the Khashoggi incident last October, alongside numerous and ongoing reports dealing with the human suffering in Yemen. He began his time as Crown Prince with a long and extensive tour that included........

© Middle East Monitor