Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday that Turkey has confirmed that comments by President Tayyip Erdogan claiming that the killing order of Jamal Khashoggi came from “the highest level of Saudi leadership” were not directed toward Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“We have already asked the Turkish authorities at the highest level about the meaning of these comments, and they confirmed to us categorically that the crown prince is not meant by these comments,” he said.
“The leadership of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (the king) and the crown prince, is a red line, and we will not permit attempts to harm or undermine them,” he added.
Jubeir also called on the Turkish government to provide any evidence they have in the case to Saudi Arabia’s public prosecution in order to help in the investigation.
“Some statements by a few Turkish individuals contributed to creating a rift in relations, but we in the kingdom do not want this, because it keeps us away from important issues that we seek to address,” Jubeir said.
He affirmed that attempts to exploit the Khashoggi case are unacceptable, adding that whomever wants justice to be achieved shoul provide any evidence to the Saudi judiciary which is the competent authority.
Jubeir told the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that Saudi Arabia’s leadership is also keen on protecting strategic relations and historic ties with the US, adding that US sanctions in the Khashoggi case are individual, and have not targeted the kingdom’s government or economy.
“The Kingdom was the first to take action against the perpetrators in the case of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, followed by other countries, by imposing measures towards those people in a manner that does not affect the strategic relations, and political and economic interests shared with our allies,” Jubeir said.
Jubeir affirmed that the team that carried out the murder gave a misleading and false report to authorities, and accordingly, statements denying the incident were issued. However, when the truth became apparent, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques directed the public prosecutor to carry out an investigation whose findings were announced, he added.
When asked where Saudi diplomacy stands following the unprecedented attack that the kingdom was a target of after the Khashoggi incident, Jubeir said: “The Kingdom has taken all necessary measures to achieve justice and to hold those responsible for the murder of the Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi. Media campaigns and attempts at politicization have become obvious, and those who stand behind them, and this is even after the results of the investigation have been declared with all transparency, and the accused referred to trial. We in the Kingdom, through our history, have been targeted by many biased media campaigns, depending on their sources and pretexts, to undermine the Kingdom's role and status.”
Jubeir also stated that the kingdom appreciates the positive Turkish stance in the formation of a joint security task force, adding that Saudi Arabia has cooperated with the Turkish side on the case. However, he stated that the kingdom’s public prosecution had requested its Turkish counterpart to provide the evidence they have in the case, but “unfortunately, the prosecution was not provided with the necessary evidence,” he said.SHOW MORE