Riyadh: Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday took in his style a jibe at at the media, which is repeatedly claiming that Lebanon’s Prime Minister designate Saad al-Hariri was kidnapped and forced to resign by Saudi Arabia during his previous visit to the Kingdom.
"I just want to conclude with one thing: Prime Minister Saad is going to be in Riyadh for two more days. So please, no rumors that he is kidnapped,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed said at the end of a panel with Saad al-Hariri and Bahrain Crown Prince Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Also present at that time was UAE Vice President, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. After the joke on the 2nd day of Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative, Hariri and Crown Prince Mohammed laughed and shook hands.
The joke took place as the Crown Prince comes under mounting global pressure to come up with answers over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2.
In his first response to Khashoggi's killing, Mohammed bin Salman called it a "heinous crime that cannot be justified."
Appearing on a discussion panel at the international investment conference in Riyadh, dubbed "Davos in Desert", Mohammed bin Salman said all culprits would be punishe. He also said that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would work together "to reach results".
“Those behind this crime will be held accountable... in the end justice will prevail,” he said.
Jamal Khashoggi had disappeared after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul. It was later turned out that he died in a brawl and fist-fight, according to Saudi officials. Reports from Turkey however claimed that President Erdogan had called Khashoggi's killing as "planned" and "political murder".
Western media outlets, especially those in the United States, have been since the day one linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with whatever happened to Khashoggi - something which is vehemently denied by Saudis government.
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