EXTRACT

A global firestorm is developing around Khashoggi’s disappearance. Pressure is mounting on the Saudi strongman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for a while seen as a reformer but now regarded by many as an autocrat, to disclose what happened to Khashoggi.

In the US even members of President Donald Trump’s own party are voicing dissatisfaction over the administration’s response to the story. Trump, whose son-in-law is very close to MBS, as bin Salman is known, seems married to the idea that commerce trumps human rights.

Remember that Saudi Arabia has pledged $20bn in infrastructure investment in the US. Further, the US president is keen to sell an eye-watering $110bn in weapons to the Saudis. Last Thursday Trump told reporters in the Oval Office: “I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money that’s being poured into our country ... I don’t like stopping an investment of $110bn in the United States.”

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