Manama: Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir said his country does not accept any state telling Riyadh what to do, saying it was “preposterous” for other countries to think they can dictate what the Saudi leadership should do in handling the case.
Al Jubeir stressed Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman did not order the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warned against linking the murder with the Saudi leadership. He said it was a red line that should not be crossed.
“We know that this was not an authorised operation. There was no order given to conduct this operation,” Al Jubeir told reporters in Washington.
He reiterated Saudi Arabia’s judiciary is committed to holding accountable those involved in the killing of Khashoggi.
The Saudi official did not wish to comment on a New York Times report attributing threats by Prince Mohammad against Khashoggi to anonymous sources.
On Thursday, the New York Times reported that according to “current and former American and foreign officials”, Prince Mohammad told a top aide in a conversation in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on Khashoggi if he did not return to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has condemned the murder and insisted it was a criminal case and should be approached as such without giving it any other dimension.
However, some members of the US congress were not assuaged and pushed for action by President Donald Trump against Riyadh and under the Global Magnitsky Act, they gave him 120 days that ended on Friday to report whether he intends to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia.
The Trump administration has said there is no direct evidence of the crown prince’s involvement, and has stressed the vital importance of relations between Washington and Riyadh.
Officials from the Trump administration said there was no need to meet the deadline and explained that the US was “the first country to take significant measures, including visa actions and sanctions against those responsible for this heinous act.”