Photo: Mohamed Bin Salman and former King Juan Carlos I (Credit: EFE)
By: Alba Solé
Date: 25 November 2018
The King Emeritus Juan Carlos I was in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, accompanied by the Infanta Cristina, to witness the “last hurrah” of Fernando Alonso, in Formula 1. There the former King met with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed bin Salman, and had a photograph taken.
This meeting took place whilst the controversy around the Crown Prince continues to swirl, as he has been linked to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul earlier this year.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has pointed directly to Mohamed bin Salman as the person who gave the order to kill the journalist. Khashoggi was killed by a group of agents who arrived from Saudi Arabia – some close to the crown prince – at the consulate, where he went on October 2nd to collect documentation which would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée.
The CIA found out that Khashoggi, who had lived in Washington, spoke with the Saudi ambassador to the US. and the brother of the crown prince, Khaled bin Salman, during the trip to Turkey to obtain the documents.
For his part, Saudi Arabia’s attorney general has called for the death penalty for five people accused of the murder and has filed charges against six others. The prosecutor asserts that the Prince was not aware of the crime.
The death of Khashoggi is not the only controversy surrounding this meeting between Juan Carlos I and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. The photograph came after the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, defended continued sales of arms to Saudi Arabia by Spain, in the Congress of Deputies, so as not to harm the Spanish defense industry and secure jobs in the Bay of Cádiz.
On the contrary, Germany has suspended the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that no more weapons would be sold until the death of journalist Khashoggi was clarified: “Exports of weapons cannot take place under the current circumstances,” the German foreign minister said.
Along the same lines, last week Denmark announced that it would also stop exporting arms to Saudi Arabia due to the case of the journalist’s death.