On October 2, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, seeking to retrieve some documents relating to his upcoming wedding. He never came out. Turkish authorities believe he was tortured and murdered by Saudi intelligence officers sent to kill him.
This incident has profoundly shaken Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States. Khashoggi was well known and well-liked by journalists and others in policy circles in Washington DC. He was a columnist for the Washington Post and had a residence in Northern Virginia. Yet, despite his connections, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman apparently ordered a hit job.
On the line with me to discuss the international implications of this incident is Simon Henderson, the Baker Fellow and Director of the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He was a friend of Jamal Khashoggi. He explains who Khashoggi was, and how his murder may impact Saudi Arabia’s relationship with both Turkey and the United States.
Details from the incident in the Saudi consulate are still emerging. We recorded this conversation on Friday oct 12. And I think that Simon Henderson provides some useful context that will help you understand how we reached a point where the Saudi government was willing to so brazenly murder a high profile critic of the Crown Prince.
If you have 20 minutes and want to learn some of the broader international implications of this apparent murder, have a listen.
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