Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says the kingdom and the United States can sustain the crisis created by the murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"The strategic relationship is important for both countries," Jubeir told Fox News on Sunday. "The relationship will weather this."
Khashoggi, a US resident, The Washington Post columnist, and a leading critic of Riyadh, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents for his pending marriage, but he never left the mission.
Saudi officials originally said Khashoggi had left the diplomatic mission unharmed, before announcing on Friday that he had been killed inside the building in what they described as an altercation.
Jubeir said King Salman was “determined” to punish those behind the murder, which he claimed had been "a tremendous mistake" and part of a "rogue operation."
"I believe that when the investigation's over and the facts have been revealed and ... people know who is responsible, and see those individuals being punished, and see procedures put in place to prevent this from happening,” the top diplomat said.
Jubeir brushed off accusations that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which Khashoggi would openly criticize, had ordered the foul play.
US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, delivered his strongest comments yet about the affair in an interview with The Post, saying, "Obviously, there's been deception and there's been lies." "Their stories are all over the place."
Trump, however, emphasized the importance of US-Saudi relationship to Washington's regional strategic goals.
He described the 33-year-old crown prince as a "strong person; he has very good control."
Trump added that he has yet to be shown any evidence by intelligence officials that would make him believe the royal had any direct role in the murder.
"Nobody has told me he's responsible. Nobody has told me he's not responsible. We haven't reached that point," the president said, adding, "It could be something in the building went badly awry."
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