Saudi Arabia's al-Jubeir says crown prince did not order Khashoggi killing

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Getting hundreds of thousands of unemployed Saudis into the workforce is a major challenge for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who oversees economic policy for the world's top oil exporter.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir told reporters Friday in Washington that people should await the results of the trial of the suspects in the October killing of Jamal Khashoggi as well as the end of an ongoing investigation before drawing any conclusions about the case.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe the crown prince ordered an operation to kill Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and one-time royal insider, whose body was dismembered.

Regarding the Turkish-US discussions on the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria and whether Saudi Arabia will provide military or financial assistance, Jubeir said the Kingdom provided a lot of humanitarian aid and provided $100 million to build hospitals and schools, asserting that military support is not on the table.

He was a strong critic of the Saudi government. Khashoggi wrote columns critical of the Saudi government while living in self-imposed exile in Virginia.

The Times, citing unidentified current and former US intelligence officials, said the 2017 conversation was intercepted by USA spy agencies.

"I can't comment on reports based on anonymous sources", al-Jubeir said. "I think for anyone to think that they can dictate what we should do or what our leadership should do is preposterous".

The former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker of Tennessee, and the senior Democrat on the panel, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, sent a letter to the administration in October invoking the Magnitsky Act of 2016 to demand an investigation of Khashoggi's death and determine whether new sanctions should be imposed on Saudi Arabia. He was never seen alive again.

Saudi Arabia quietly held a second court hearing for 11 people facing charges over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an independent United Nations human rights expert said, criticising the kingdom for its lack of transparency in the proceedings over the grisly slaying. Saudi officials discussed ways of getting him to travel to Saudi Arabia.

It came as officials in the kingdom were growing increasingly angry about Khashoggi's criticisms - and the same month he began writing opinion pieces for The Washington Post.

Lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Fahrettin Altun, Erdogan's communications director, told Reuters that the series of "false denials" from Riyadh had led to uncertainty on a host of issues around the case. "Saudi authorities must extradite Mr Khashoggi's killers to Turkey, where they committed a premeditated murder, as proof of their willingness to serve the cause of justice", Altun said.

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