Saudi Arabia on Sunday appointed former media chief Turki Aldakhil as its ambassador to the UAE just days after it was revealed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told him he would “use a bullet” on slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
It was billed as “the most detailed evidence to date” that the Saudi crown prince “considered killing” Khashoggi long before the veteran journalist was brutally slain in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year. Now the man who was privy to the incriminating conversation has been appointed the oil-rich Gulf kingdom’s top envoy to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In an explosive report published last week, the New York Times revealed that US intelligence intercepts had picked up a conversation between Crown Prince Mohammed and his aide, Aldakhil, during which Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler said he would use “a bullet” on Khashoggi if he didn’t return to the kingdom.
Aldakhil was discussing ways to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia in September 2017 when the crown prince said he would go after the dissident journalist “with a bullet” if none of the other options worked, the US daily reported.Ads By Google
Riyadh has denied Prince Mohammed was involved in the murder although the CIA has concluded the slaying could not have happened without the crown prince’s awareness or involvement.
The revelation that Aldakhil was privy to the infamous “bullet” conversation, however, did not stop the former Saudi media chief’s appointment as Riyadh’s top envoy to the UAE, a key coalition partner in the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
In a tweet posted in Arabic Sunday, Aldakhil said he was “honoured” to present his credentials to Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed. The Twitter post included photographs of a beaming Aldakhil in a pristine white dishdasha, or flowing ankle-length robe, with the Emirati foreign minister.