Arab League chief supports Saudi position on US Khashoggi report

Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Saturday stressed support to the statement; released by the Saudi foreign ministry on the United States intelligence report about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a statement, the Arab League chief also said that only Saudi judicial authorities are responsible for holding those involved accountable.

The CIA is not an international decision-making body, he added.

Human rights issues should not turn into politics ones, Aboul Gheit concluded.

The declassified report, based on CIA intelligence, claimed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “approved an operation in Istanbul; Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Utter rejection

Saudi Arabia on Friday also said it “completely rejects” a declassified US report that found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; approved journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s 2018 murder.

“The government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment; in the report pertaining to the kingdom’s leadership, and notes that the report also contained inaccurate information and conclusions;” the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia has previously described the murder as a rogue operation and has vehemently denied the crown prince was involved.

“It is truly unfortunate that this report, with its unjustified and inaccurate conclusions; is markedly in issue while the kingdom had clearly denounced this heinous crime; and the kingdom’s leadership took the necessary steps to ensure that such a tragedy never takes place again;” the foreign ministry said.

“The kingdom additionally rejects any measure that infringes upon its leadership, sovereignty, and the independence of its judicial system;” the ministry added.

Despite its anger over the report, Saudi Arabia also stressed that it was keen to maintain the relationship.

“The partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America is undoubtedly a robust and enduring partnership;” the foreign ministry said.

“We also look forward to maintaining the enduring foundations that have shaped the framework of the resilient strategic partnership; between the kingdom and the United States.”