Russia warned the U.S. against any effort to influence the royal succession in Saudi Arabia, offering its support to embattled Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who’s under continuing pressure over the killing of a government critic.
President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to the Middle East said Prince Mohammed has every right to inherit the throne when the ailing 82-year-old King Salman dies.
“Of course we are against interference. The Saudi people and leadership must decide such questions themselves,” Mikhail Bogdanov, who is also deputy foreign minister, said in an interview in Moscow on Tuesday. “The King made a decision and I can’t even imagine on what grounds someone in America will interfere in such an issue and think about who should rule Saudi Arabia, now or in the future. This is a Saudi matter.”
Senior U.S. lawmakers have blamed the crown prince the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, a conclusion they said was backed by the Central Intelligence Agency. The Saudi government has repeatedly denied the prince’s involvement and said he was killed by government agents in a botched plan to force his return home. Russia says it accepts the Saudi account. [Continue reading…]