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Washington, Riyadh not to become estrange after Khashoggi case: Lebanese diplomat

Beirut, Murder of Saudi critic, Jamal Khashoggi, will not have much negative impact on Washington-Riyadh ties, and the United States will not sanction its regional ally, a Lebanese former diplomat predicted.

US cannot easily abandon Saudi Arabia, Riad Tabbarah, former Lebanese ambassador to Washington told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in a recently-held interview.

About Washington-Riyadh relations, Tabbarah said that Saudis cry out for the US support and the latter needs Saudi Arabia in its confrontation with Iran.

The 59-year-old Saudi investigative journalist, who had left the country since Bin Salman was named crown prince and moved to the US, vanished on October second after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to collect documents for his forthcoming marriage.

It is about a month that Khashoggi has been killed in Istanbul and the role of Saudis in murder of the prominent journalist is now clear, said the Lebanese diplomat.

After 18 days of silence and rejecting claims that Khashoggi was murdered, the Saudi government finally bowed down to international pressure and admitted the prominent journalist was killed inside Istanbul consulate.

First, US President Donald Trump did confirm Saudis' claim, but finally he acknowledged that the case is a crime after public reaction to Khashoggi's killing, Tabbarah said.

However, Trump said that the 110-billion-dollar arm-purchasing deal with Saudi Arabia is still alive, the Lebanese politician added.

Asked whether Saudi rulers may be sanctioned due to the killing of Khashoggi, Tabbarah said that he does not think so, but only individuals who were involved in the murder may be banned.

He went on to say that US wants to drift apart those individuals from the Saudi system.

Touching upon the Zionist regime of Israel and its relations with Saudi Arabia, the former diplomat said that they follow the same goal when the issue of hostility with Iran is concerened.

Talking of Turkey's stance on Khashoggi's case, Tabbarah said that information indicates that Turkey is negotiating with Saudi Arabia and US about the issue.

At the end of his remarks, the former Lebanese ambassador said that the talks among the three countries show their efforts to find someone as a victim to accuse him/her of the murder and adjourn the case.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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