Crown Prince Mohammad says Khashoggi killing will not 'drive a wedge' between Saudi Arabia, Turkey

Crown Prince Mohammad says Khashoggi killing will not 'drive a wedge' between Saudi Arabia, Turkey

ANKARA
Crown Prince Mohammad says Khashoggi killing will not drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia, Turkey

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Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince has called the killing of Jamal Khashoggi a "heinous crime that cannot be justified," vowing that it will not "drive a wedge" between the kingdom and Turkey.

"Those behind this crime will be held accountable... in the end justice will prevail," Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, adding that Saudi Arabia will cooperate with Turkish authorities.

The statement came after Prince Mohammad held a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 24 about the killing of Khashoggi, a Turkish presidential source said.

The source added that the Saudi prince had requested the conversation and the two discussed steps that need to be taken for the investigation.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a U.S. resident, disappeared on Oct. 2 after a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 

Turkish officials say a 15-man Saudi team, that includes at least one member from the prince’s entourage, killed the writer at the consulate.

Saudi Arabia, which initially denied knowledge of his whereabouts, has since said he died in a "fistfight." It later blamed Khashoggi's death on a "rogue operation".

The Saudi journalist was a critic of the crown prince, the kingdom's de facto ruler. Erdoğan has said Turkey will not let the killers escape justice, no matter how highly placed they were.

Meanwhile, the United States announced it wanted perfect clarity on what happened in the death of Khashoggi.

"We are already seeing steps from Saudi Arabia reflecting serious accountability, but we won't be satisfied until we get perfect clarity on exactly what transpired," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a "Miles with Mike" email sent to department employees on Oct. 23 evening and reviewed by Reuters on Oct. 24.

After the phone call with Erdoğan on Oct. 24, Prince Mohammad appeared for a talk at his Riyadh investment forum.

At the Future Investment Initiative, he talked with Bahrain’s crown prince and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whom many suspect was coerced by Prince Mohammad to resign from his position on a visit to Saudi Arabia last year. Hariri later renounced his resignation.

International business leaders have pulled out from attending the summit over the killing.

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Mohammad bin Salman, Jamal Khashoggi