02:09 GMT +321 March 2019
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    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 23, 2018

    Saudi Crown Prince Begins Foreign Trip Amid Global Outcry Over Khashoggi Murder

    © REUTERS / Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court
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    CAIRO (Sputnik) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has embarked on a foreign trip to strengthen Riyadh’s relations with "brotherly countries," the Saudi Royal Court said amid harsh international criticism toward Riyadh over the high-profile killing of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

    "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.

    READ MORE: France Imposes Travel Bans on 18 Saudis Over Khashoggi Killing

    The broadcaster added that the United Arab Emirates was the first destination in the crown prince’s trip.

    Earlier this week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Falih said that the crown prince would attend the G20 summit, which is scheduled to be held in Argentina on November 30 – December 1.

    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.

    READ MORE: US Institute Sues Spy Agencies For Not Preventing Khashoggi Death

    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."


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