Saudi Crown Prince's uncle returns to Riyadh after absence

Bill Gates cancels $5m aid to Saudi following Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the United States he considered murdered writer Jamal Khashoggi to be a unsafe Islamist, media reports say.

The two sides discussed a wide range of topics including Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia's relations with the US.

LONDON-A month after the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, the Trump administration has made a decision to stand by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, having concluded that he is nearly certain to retain his grip on power despite a growing global consensus that he bears responsibility for the killing, officials familiar with the deliberations said.

The journalist's family told the Post in response: "Jamal Khashoggi was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood".

President Trump has said he is "not satisfied" with the Saudi account.

That version has aroused considerable skepticism among Saudi watchers, considering bin Salman's vast control over what happens in the kingdom.

The outcry in the US demonizing Saudi Arabia over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul threatens US-Saudi strategic ties, the former Saudi intelligence chief warned on Wednesday.

It emerged this week that bin Salman called Khashoggi a "dangerous Islamist" in a phone call with advisor to Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, just before Turkish police said they believed the missing journalist was dead. After initially denying Khashoggi had been killed, the Saudi government claimed he died in an unplanned "rogue operation".

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The Turkish official quoted by the Washington Post said that "biological evidence" found in the consulate's garden indicated the body was likely disposed of near where Khashoggi was killed.

But, as Saudi Arabia faces a torrent of worldwide condemnation over the murder of the royal insider-turned-critic, the location of his body remains a mystery. Turkey maintains that Saudi officials have information on those responsible for the murder and the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains. "He denied such claims repeatedly over the past several years", the family said.

Turkey's chief prosecutor on Wednesday confirmed for the first time that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate on October 2 as part of a planned hit, and his body was then dismembered and destroyed.

A Saudi official acknowledged that phone calls between the prince and USA officials are likely, but denied the royal made such comments.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia alongside the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar, which they accuse of supporting terrorism, including the Muslim Brotherhood group.

Media captionWhy do Trump's Saudi job numbers keep growing?

Earlier, the USA called for a swift cessation of hostilities in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting local Houthi rebels.

"If the democracies of the world do not take genuine steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of this brazen, callous act - one that has caused universal outrage among their citizens - what moral authority are they left with?, " she asked.

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