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Senior Saudi prince slams 'unreliable' CIA after Khashoggi report

Prince Turki was the former ambassador to Washington [AFP]

Date of publication: 25 November, 2018

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Senior Saudi prince Turki al-Faisal, said the CIA’s track record proves it is untrustworthy to conclude such findings.
The former Saudi ambassador to Washington slammed the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as unreliable after it concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the brutal killing of a journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Turki al-Faisal, a senior Saudi prince said the CIA’s track record proves it is untrustworthy to conclude such findings.

"The CIA is not necessarily the highest standard of veracity or accuracy in assessing situations. The examples of that are multitude," Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior member of the royal family, told journalists in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Turki al-Faisal, who previously led the Saudi intelligence, pointed toward the CIA's 2003 intel that led to the devastating war in Iraq where hundreds of thousands were killed.

"That was the most glaring of inaccurate and wrong assessments, which led to a full-scale war with thousands being killed," he said, speaking at an event hosted by the Beirut Institute think tank.

"I don't see why the CIA is not on trial in the United States. This is my answer to their assessment of who is guilty and who is not and who did what in the consulate in Istanbul.”

The damning comments came just weeks after the CIA revealed its finding into the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

After persistent denials and numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh finally admitted Khashoggi was killed in the consulate and his body was dismembered.

Last week, US President Donald Trump glossed over the CIA's reported conclusion that the the crown prince had authorised the killing.

"Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" Trump said, implying MbS' culpability in Khashoggi's killing at the Saudi consulate.

On Friday, Turkey said Trump intended to turn a "blind eye" to the murder of Khashoggi, saying Washington's ties with Riyadh would not be harmed.

"In one sense, Trump is saying 'I will turn a blind eye'," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with CNN Turk broadcaster, referring to Trump's continued support for Saudi Arabia, which has committed to billions of dollars in US weapons contracts.

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