The Slatest

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Vows to Find the Real Killers and Jokes About Kidnapping the Prime Minister of Lebanon

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri together at a conference in Riyadh
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) arrives with former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Wednesday.
Fayez Nureldine/Getty Images

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is going to get to the bottom of who is responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. He made this pledge in an address to the investment conference that nearly every big-name Western business figure and official who was scheduled to go ditched after Khashoggi was killed earlier this month in an operation many believe was overseen by the crown prince’s closest aides.

In his first public remarks since Saudi Arabia acknowledged Khashoggi’s death, the crown prince said that the “heinous crime” actually hurt all Saudis, not just the Saudi citizen who went into the Istanbul consulate for a marriage document and then was killed and allegedly dismembered by a forensic specialist who happened to be there with a bone saw.

The Washington Post reported that the crown prince described the killing as “really painful to all Saudis” and that the ongoing investigation would find and punish Khashoggi’s killers.

All the while, Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad al-Hariri was sitting next to him. Last November, Hariri, a dual Saudi citizen, announced he was resigning as prime minister during a visit to the kingdom. (Hariri was reportedly told he’d be going on a camping trip with Mohammed bin Salman before being detained by Saudi officials and forced to read a resignation statement on Saudi TV). After the French government intervened, he was allowed to return to Lebanon and revoked his resignation. At the conference Wednesday, the crown prince, according to the Post, “jokingly” said that no one should think Hariri was being “kidnapped” just because he would be in Saudi Arabia for two days for the conference.

Take my ally, please!