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Saudi foreign minister: outrage at Khashoggi killing is ‘hysterical’

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jamal khashoggi protester
A
protester holds a sign saying “We will not leave without Jamal
Khashoggi” outside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on October 5,
2018.

Osman
Orsal/Reuters


  • Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir addressed the
    killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a forum in
    Bahrain.
  • He attacked “hysteria” in the reporting of what
    happened to Khashoggi, who was invited into a Saudi consulate
    in Istanbul then killed.
  • Al-Jubeir said that critics should wait for Saudi
    Arabia to finish their investigation before blaming
    anybody.
  • Khashoggi was killed on October 2, and Saudi has so far
    offered shifting and incomplete explanations for what
    happened.
  • The kingdom claims that the killing was a rogue
    operation.

The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia has characterized the global
outrage in response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
as “fairly hysterical.”

Adel al-Jubeir told the a security forum hosted by
the International Institute for Strategic Studies in
Bahrain that people were blaming Saudi Arabia prematurely.
(Footage
of his speech is hosted on this page.
)

Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents inside the country’s
consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, at the start of October.


Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir IISS forum Bahrain October 27
Saudi
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir addresses the killing of Jamal
Khashoggi at an IISS event in Manama, Bahrain, on October
27.

IISS

Al-Jubeir said critics should wait for the Saudi
investigation to publish its conclusions rather than blaming the
kingdom “from the get-go.”

He said: 

“This issue has become fairly hysterical. I think people have
assigned blame on Saudi Arabia with such certainty before the
investigation is complete.

“We have made it very clear that we are going to have a full
transparent investigation, the results of which will be
released.”

Al-Jubeir’s claims of an over-reaction echo the reported
response of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to
criticism of the killing.


According to the Wall Street Journal, Crown Prince Mohammed
struggled to comprehend why people were so angry
, and called
Jared Kushner to ask for an explanation.

It took two weeks for Saudi authorities to publicly
acknowledge that Khashoggi was dead. It had previously claimed he
left the consulate alive. The kingdom has said that his killers
were rogue agents who exceeded their authority and will be
punished. It claims not to know where Khashoggi’s body is.

Many news outlets have responded to Saudi’s claims of a
rogue operation with incredulity, and pressured the kingdom to
reveal more information, faster.

In particular the Washington Post, Khashoggi’s former
employer, has criticised the Saudi response in numerous
fiery editorials
. It has also launched an ad campaign aimed
at Saudi Arabia, and on Thursday dedicated a full page of the
newspaper to a photograph of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
alongside the words “demand the truth.”

Al-Jubeir claimed that Saudi authorities are trying to be
transparent, but said the media makes it difficult. He said:

“We have tried to share the information that we have obtained
with the public.

“Unfortunately there has been this hysteria in the media about
Saudi Arabia’s guilt before the investigation is completed.

“And what we say to people is wait until everything is done, then
reflect on the results of the investigation, and then make a
determination on whether this investigation was serious or not.
But not from the get-go.”

Al-Jubeir addressed the Khashoggi case in a question-and-answer
session, in which several reporters asked different questions
about Saudi Arabia’s handling of the case.

One asked how Saudi Arabia plans to convince its allies that an
operation as complex as Khashoggi’s killing could have taken
place without the knowledge of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Al-Jubeir did not answer.

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