Notwithstanding the cliché phraseology – “deep commitment to strengthen the strategic partnership envisaged in the Riyadh Declaration of February 2010” – the joint statement issued at the end of MBS’s state visit failed to nail down Pakistan’s role as a State Sponsor of terrorism.
The ghoulish murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi has set into motion a new dynamic in the Syrian, Yemeni, Palestinian and other incipient conflicts in West Asia. Popular perception globally has traced the macabre plot to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, even though the Saudi propaganda machine is deflecting guilt.
Just when the 33-year-old Crown Prince was beginning to wallow in all the manufactured publicity, Friedman began to worry about his credibility. The information base for revised versions was presumably provided by the likes of Khashoggi.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi burst upon the global news casts only after his murder in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Turkey. Saeed Naqvi interviewed him in Jeddah in December 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11. Khashoggi was also a Washington Post Global Opinions contributing columnist and and former editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel.