Saudi Crown Prince: ‘We Did Our Job’ Replacing Iranian Oil

People wait by the entrance to a blocked road leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul on Thursday. Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul insisted Thursday that Jamal Khashoggi a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post left its bui

Saudi Arabia will allow Turkey to search its consulate in Istanbul for prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing for three days after entering the diplomatic mission earlier this week.

He left Saudi Arabia that year over fears of the Riyadh regime's crackdown on critical voices.

"If returned to Saudi Arabia, Jamal Khashoggi would be in serious danger given the pattern of flagrantly unfair trials that have been leading to long prison sentences and even the death penalty", Maalouf said in a statement on Friday.

Khashoggi's disappearance also threatened to further harm relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which are on opposite sides of an ongoing four-nation boycott of Qatar and other regional crises.

The crown prince insisted that the kingdom has always paid for armaments from the US.

On Thursday the official Saudi Press Agency cited the consulate as saying it was working with Turkish authorities to probe Mr Khashoggi's disappearance "after he left the consulate building".

"We are now above $300 billion, we're getting close to $400 billion". "Until otherwise demonstrated, he is still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the Saudi authorities are responsible for his safety and well-being", she said in a statement.

President Donald Trump led administration shares a very friendly connection with Saudi Arabia.


The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based NGO, urged the Saudi authorities to immediately disclose information about Khashoggi's whereabouts. On Wednesday the state department urged OPEC to tap its reserve supplies.

"His criticism, voiced over the past year, most surely rankles Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to crown prince last year and has carried out a wide-ranging campaign to silence dissent while trying to modernize the kingdom", the Post editorial read.

Notably, Khashoggi would not be the only Gulf national to have been arrested overseas to be returned to the kingdom, and other incidents have been far more public. This is a red line not only for Saudi Arabia but for the whole world.

Khashoggi was known for his interviews and travels with Osama bin Laden between 1987 and 1995, including in Afghanistan, where he wrote about the battle against the Soviet occupation.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince has said Aramco's initial public offering will take place by 2021, and reiterated his view that the state-owned oil company will be valued at $2trillion (£1.53trillion) or more.

Saudi Arabia is increasingly portrayed as a wayward actor intent on destabilizing everything it can get its hands on, uncomfortable about raising oil production despite US warnings that the Saudi king would not last for two weeks without America's military support.

In the coming days, Saudi government statements will be important in indicating what has happened to Khashoggi and whether Saudi policies towards dissidents overseas may have become more interventionist.

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