Business Standard

MBS urged to ditch aide linked to Khashoggi killing

IANS  |  Washington 

US has privately urged Saudi Crown Mohammed bin Salman, the heir to the Saudi throne, to cut his ties to a whom has sanctioned for his alleged role in the murder of

According to a report on Friday, Pompeo was understood to have raised his concerns about in private conversations with Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, and his brother

The report said that US authorities believe that Qahtani, a former to the Crown Prince, oversaw the team that killed Khashoggi, a Post of the Crown Prince, in the in October.

He is thought to have remained a confidant of Mohammed despite having a lower profile in recent months. He formerly served as the of Saudi's cyber-unit.

The said that the advice to sideline Qahtani comes at a time when Pompeo's support for is facing intense scrutiny in Congress, where the has been criticized for not condemning strongly enough following Khashoggi's murder.

A told the newspaper it would not discuss details of private diplomatic conversations.

Qahtani was publicly rebuked after the murder, when Saudi Salman had his son's removed from his role at the royal court, according to the daily.

But within months, reports emerged that Qahtani was still communicating with MBS and was actively participating in his crackdown against dissidents.

According to the Guardian, Qahtani is still actively engaged in a similar role within Mohammed's private office.



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First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 20:56 IST