"Because of the Crown Prince’s keenness on strengthening Saudi Arabia’s relations regionally and internationally, in addition to his continuation of cooperation and communication with brotherly countries, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman left the kingdom on Thursday evening to visit a number of Arab countries," the Saudi Royal Court said in a statement, as cited by Al Arabiya broadcaster, late on Thursday.
The broadcaster added that the United Arab Emirates was the first destination in the crown prince’s trip.
Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. After weeks of denials, the Saudi prosecutors acknowledged that the US-based Washington Post columnist had been killed inside the diplomatic mission.
Various media reports suggest that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had evidence proving that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the killing, something denied by Riyadh.
The situation provoked global outcry and condemnation of the Saudi authorities and, particularly, the crown prince. However, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir said that calls on the crown prince to be removed were a "red line."