Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Tunisians protest planned visit of Saudi crown prince

Protests greet Saudi Crown Prince Tunisia visit Republican Sen. Mike Lee: ‘Next Congress’ Will Likely ‘Look Into’ Motive Behind Trump’s Decision-Making On Saudi Arabia
Jodi Jackson | 28 November, 2018, 04:10

Human Rights Watch has asked Argentina to use a war crimes clause in its constitution to investigate the role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or, MbS as he has styled himself, in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as possible crimes against humanity in Yemen.

The Crown Prince flew to Cairo on Monday, where he was met on arrival by Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The Saudi crown prince is visiting Tunisia on Tuesday as part of a tour of several Arab countries on his first trip overseas since Khashoggi's murder, which has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with the West and battered his image overseas.

They then headed to the presidential palace in Carthage, outside Tunis, for closed-door talks, the only scheduled activity during the brief visit by the prince, who was on a tour of Arab countries before heading to the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

In a meeting with the Saudi media delegation, chairman of Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Makram Mohamed Ahmed said that coordination between Egypt and Saudi Arabia is important on all levels to protect joint interests and defend Arab national security.

The crown prince faced an early rebuke during his stopover in Tunisia, where hundreds of protesters gathered late Monday to protest his visit.

Political analyst Youssef Cherif said the protests against Prince Mohammed were a sign that post-revolution Tunisia "is one of the rare Arab countries where one can take such a stand".

Saudi authorities have blamed the killing on lower-ranking officials who they say exceeded their authority.

He was reportedly dismembered in what Saudi Arabia said was a "rogue" operation, but Central Intelligence Agency analysis leaked to the USA media pointed the finger at Prince Mohammed. It will not hold a news conference, a usual event at top visits.

Saudi Arabia wants to work more closely with Russian Federation in the fields of nuclear energy and oil, describing it as beneficial for the whole world.

Tunisia was a strong Saudi ally under Ben Ali but ties have since been strained at times.

Another irritant is that moderate Islamists have been sharing power with secularists in Tunisia since 2011. The four accused Doha of supporting terrorism and Iran - charges Doha denies.

The crown prince - also known by his initials, MBS - arrived in Tunisia on Tuesday evening as part of a regional tour as he makes his way to the G20 summit set to take place in Argentina on Friday.

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