Argentina considering probe into Saudi crown prince

HRW's Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson said the global rights group took the case to Argentina because Prince Mohammed, also known as MbS, will attend the opening of the G20 summit this week in Buenos Aires.

Intelligence officials have said the CIA presented the President with a confidence-based assessment given the facts of the situation.

In the House, Democrats are promising to tackle the Khashoggi matter when they take over the majority next year and are openly questioning whether Trump's defense of the crown prince is motivated by self-interest.

Bahrain's Cabinet and the Shura Council praised the high-level visit by the Saudi crown prince and said it reflects strong bilateral ties.

The Tunis protests were accompanied by statements from the Tunisian journalists' union and a dozen non-governmental organisations decrying Prince Mohammed's visit as an "attack on the principles" of the Arab spring that bought democracy and freedom of expression to Tunisia.

Protesters raised a large poster which depicted the Tunisian president pouring water on the bloodied hands of the Saudi crown prince - suggesting Tunisia's complicity in washing away guilt. Furthermore, there are calls from US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis for a peaceful resolution and ceasefire in Yemen, even though reports have emerged that the U.S. may be taking a step back from a ceasefire in Yemen due to the fear of angering Saudi Arabia, who is a key ally of the US. His remains have yet to be found.

Both the United Kingdom and France have condemned Saudi Arabia's conduct over Khashoggi's murder and used it to pressure the Saudi-UAE coalition fighting in Yemen into renewed peace talks - but the criticism has stopped short of ending arms sales to the Gulf.

"They were asking us to put as much pressure on the Saudis as we could [to buy American arms]", the official told the news agency.

That seems to have settled the matter for Trump, who issued an extraordinary statement last week saying the USA would not take further action after sanctioning 17 individuals linked to the killing.

He could also get an icy reception from other leaders at the G-20.

Trump also noted that the disruption of arms sales to Saudi Arabia would be "foolish" as that would open up opportunities for the Chinese and Russians to strike deals for selling military equipment to the Saudis.

"Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's answer was "'Let's see'", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tells a German newspaper.

Graham's position opposes that of Trump, who announced last week that he would stand with Saudi Arabia.

"Argentine prosecutorial authorities should scrutinize Mohammed bin Salman's role in possible war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition since 2015 in Yemen", HRW director Kenneth Roth said.

As part of his first overseas tour since the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, bin Salman is expected to arrive in Tunisia Tuesday evening coming from Egypt.

The prince is reportedly still expected to attend the summit.

  • Wendy Palmer