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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Jamal Khashoggi killing 'heinous crime that cannot be justified'

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince speaking at Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh remarks on journalist's death

Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid talks to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the Future Investment Initiative conference. AFP
Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid talks to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the Future Investment Initiative conference. AFP

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced a reform of the country's national security institutions and promised to co-operate with Turkey in the investigation into the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

The Crown Prince was addressing the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, sitting on a panel with Bahrain's Crown Prince and Lebanon's Prime Minister.

Addressing the killing of Saudi journalist Mr Khashoggi in his opening statement, Prince Mohammed said it was "a heinous crime that cannot be justified".

"The crime was really painful to all Saudis and I believe it is painful to every human in the world," he said, before promising to co-operate with the Turkish government and finalising an investigation into the killing.

"Many people are using this painful thing to drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and Turkey," he added, before saying they would not be able to do that as long as the Saudi King, the Saudi Crown Prince and Turkey's President Erdogan are alive.

"Saudi Arabia has taken huge steps in developing the Saudi economy and restructuring many institutions. Today it is time to restructure National Security institutions in Saudi Arabia," he said.

Moving on to economic reforms, Prince Mohammed celebrated the economic and social reforms they had passed.

He also praised the achievements of the UAE and Kuwait, saying Dubai had "raised the bar" for the kingdom 1990s, also praising Abu Dhabi.

Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa thanked the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other GCC economies for their financial assistance. He explained that although they had diversified their economy, they will have to restructure their economy.

"We need to move from an oil economy to a smart oil economy," he said.

Prince Salman said the success of Saudi Arabia is "contagious" in the region and praised so-called giga-projects.

The session started with a soundscape of people talking about how they triumphed against adversity, disrupting their industries.

Then a voice explained how Marie Curie, Thomas Edison and Mark Zuckerberg changed the world, saying "they were just dreamers", followed by a futuristic dance and video covering issues of transportation and population.

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The FII began on Tuesday with 25 preliminary agreements for deals worth $50 billion.

Prince Mohammed appeared in front of delegates on the first day of the forum but did not make a statement.

Representatives from across the business world are attending the forum, which is a way for the country to encourage international partners to do business in Saudi Arabia and to tell the world about its Vision 2030 programme.

Prince Mohammed introduced the world to the initiative last year, which aims to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy away from oil, attract foreign investment and encourage tourism.

This year's forum has coincided with the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, which led to international outcry.

Some delegates and media partners did not attend the forum over the incident.