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Turkey official slams 'laughable' Trump support for Saudi crown prince

US intelligence officials have reportedly concluded that the crown prince ordered the killing [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 November, 2018

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The deputy head of Turkey's ruling party has mocked Donald Trump's announcement that he will stick by Saudi Arabia despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The deputy head of Turkey's ruling AKP party has mocked the US president Donald Trump's announcement that he will stick by Saudi Arabia despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Numan Kurtulmus made the comments during an interview with Turkish broadcaster TRT on Tuesday, slamming the US leader's stance as "laughable".

"It is not possible that Washington does not know who gave the order to murder Khashoggi," Kurtulmus was quoted as saying in a translation by pan-Arab news website Arabi21.

"Whoever gave the order is responsible for it politically. Turkey views the case as a humanitarian one and will not forgive those who are covering it up," he added.

Trump has resisted mounting evidence of Saudi government involvement in the Khashoggi killing - including from his own intelligence services.

Trump on Tuesday declared he will not further punish Riyadh for the killing of the US-based columnist, arguing that the benefits of good relations with the kingdom outweigh the possibility its crown prince ordered the killing.

He also dismissed reports from US intelligence agencies that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind such an audacious and intricate plot.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also issued a mocking response to the announcement.

The US has sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the October 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

US intelligence officials have reportedly concluded that the crown prince, the kingdom's de facto leader, ordered the killing.

Riyadh has repeatedly denied that Prince Mohammad was aware of the operation.

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