Saudi foreign minister says CIA assessment on Khashoggi murder is false

Image via AP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has kept worldwide pressure mounting on the kingdom, is expected to attend.

"We in the kingdom know that such allegations about the crown prince have no basis in truth and we categorically reject them, whether through leaks or not".

Mr Trump parried suggestions that Prince Mohammed lay behind the killing but Republican senators led calls for further sanctions amid reports that the Central Intelligence Agency had concluded that he was involved.

World leaders, many of whom are expected at the G20 summit, have strongly condemned Khashoggi's slaying and have urged Saudi Arabia to hold everyone involved in the killing accountable.

According to Saudi sources, some senior U.S. officials have told Saudi advisors they would support Prince Ahmad, who had previously served as interior minister for 40 years, as a potential successor.

King Salman's speech, with his heir apparent in attendance, came as President Trump said that he was due to receive a full report on the murder today.

The Crown Prince requested that the Defence Ministry "focus on purchasing weapon systems and equipment in the most pressing fields", as well as receive training from them in a letter dated May 15.

Saudi authorities, who have offered a series of conflicting accounts since Khashoggi first went missing, deny the crown prince was involved in the killing.

A senior leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels says the group will halt rocket fire into Saudi Arabia for the sake of peace efforts.

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Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and one-time royal insider who had been critical of the crown prince recently, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The World Health Organization says almost 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi intervention in March 2015, but rights groups believe the toll may be five times as high. It did not mention Khashoggi.

Mohammed Ali al-Huthi said his call for an end to missile and drone attacks was aimed at "supporting the efforts of the (UN) envoy and proving our good intentions", adding that it follows "our contact with the United Nations envoy and his request to stop launching missiles and drones".

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 19, 2018.

In the wake of Khashoggi's killing, the 82-year-old monarch put the crown prince in charge of overseeing the reorganization of the kingdom's intelligence services.

Amid worldwide outrage over Khashoggi's murder, dozens of princes and cousins from powerful branches of the Al Saud family want to see a change in the line of succession, but will not act while King Salman - the crown prince's 82-year-old father - is still alive, sources said.

"The kingdom was founded on Islamic principles of justice and equality, and we are proud of the efforts of the judiciary and the public prosecution".

Also on Monday, Germany's foreign minister said Berlin has banned 18 Saudi nationals from entering Europe's border-free Schengen zone because they are believed connected to Khashoggi's killing.

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