The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an “unfortunate accident” and any discussion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible and may not take the throne is “outrageous”, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said, in a series of interviews Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported.
Khashoggi entered the building on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife. He was not seen since.
Turkish media have reported Khashoggi was killed and dismembered based on recordings from the consulate. They say he died at the hands of a 15-member assassination squad from Saudi Arabia.
Jubeir reiterated that calls for Prince Mohammed, also known as MBS, to be held accountable for Khashoggi’s shocking killing are a “red line”.
“We will not tolerate any discussion of anything that is disparaging towards our monarch or our crown prince,” Jubeir told the BBC.
On other television networks, Jubeir consistently defended MBS despite a CIA assessment reportedly saying there was “high probability” that he ordered the murder.
“We have made it very clear that Saudi Arabia’s government is not involved in this and the crown prince is not involved in this at all,” he told US network CNBC.
The foreign minister was also asked about a Reuters news agency report this week that quoted Saudi sources saying a move was in play to prevent MBS from ascending the throne once his father, King Salman, dies.
“These are outrageous comments that have been made and are totally unacceptable. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to its leadership,” he said.
“The crown prince has the confidence of every Saudi citizen, including King Salman. The crown prince is the architect and driving force behind the reform programme in Saudi Arabia and the Vision of 2030,” Jubeir told CBS.
In a statement on Wednesday, Reuters stated that they stood by their story.
Meanwhile, Denmark has decided to suspend approvals of weapon and military equipment exports to Saudi Arabia over the killing of Khashoggi and the situation in Yemen, its foreign minister said on Thursday.
The decision was taken after recent discussions with other foreign ministers in the European Union, he added.
The suspension also includes some dual-use technologies, a reference to materials that might have military applications.