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Iran Press TV

Trump praises saudi bin Salman despite complicity in Khashoggi murder

Iran Press TV

Sat Jun 29, 2019 08:27AM

US President Donald Trump has praised Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for doing what he calls "a spectacular job," turning a blind eye to a new report that holds him liable for the killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In his opening remarks before a meeting with bin Salman on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Saturday, Trump called the Saudi crown prince "a friend" who had worked to open up the kingdom with reforms.

"It's an honor to be with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, a friend of mine, a man who has really done things in the last five years in terms of opening up Saudi Arabia," the US president said.

"I want to just thank you on behalf of a lot of people, and I want to congratulate you. You've done, really, a spectacular job," he added.

Meanwhile, Trump did not raise the case of Khashoggi, a late but vocal critic of bin Salman, who was hacked to death and his body was dismembered by a Saudi hit squad after being lured into the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018.

Last week, a UN report found that there is "sufficient credible evidence" bin Salman bears responsibility for the murder and he should be investigated for it.

The 101-page report, compiled by Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said Khashoggi's killing was the result of "elaborate planning involving extensive coordination and significant human and financial resources. It was overseen, planned and endorsed by high-level officials. It was premeditated."

The CIA had already determined that the Saudi crown prince had ordered Khashoggi's murder.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Trump appreciated Saudi Arabia's purchase of American weapons in defiance of international outcry over the Riyadh regime's use of US arms in the bloody war on Yemen.

"As you know, Saudi Arabia is a big purchaser of American products and especially of America military equipment," he said. "We make the best in the world by far. And we appreciate that they do. They create at least a million jobs by the purchases made by Saudi Arabia, so we're very happy to be with you."

Trump further claimed that Saudi Arabia had "stopped" sponsoring terror.

"For a long time there were questions as to whether or not Saudi Arabia and other countries were sponsoring terror," Trump said. "You have absolutely stopped and I really appreciate that and the world really appreciates it."

This is while the Riyadh regime is widely believed to be a key supporter of Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the region.

Takfirism is largely influenced by Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia and freely preached by Saudi clerics.

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