The Saudi crown prince is to make his first international speech since the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Mohammed Bin Salman is to address the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh on the afternoon of October 24, 2018.
The summit is the prince's brainchild, an effort to draw much-needed foreign direct investment into the kingdom to create jobs for its young population.
However, this year's summit has been overshadowed by the Oct. 2 killing of Khashoggi. Turkish officials say the writer was killed by a 15-man Saudi hit squad that included a member of Prince Mohammed's entourage on overseas trips. Khashoggi, a former royal family insider turned critic of the Saudi crown prince, disappeared after he entered the consulate on October 2 to collect a document for his upcoming marriage. The incident has severely dented the international reputation of the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia has suggested, without offering evidence, that the team went rogue. The US President Donald Trump has said Saudi authorities have staged the "worst ever cover-up" in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia has admitted that Khashoggi, 59, a contributor for The Washington Post, was killed in its Istanbul consulate.
Trump signed an agreement with the Saudis in 2017 for them to purchase USD 110 billion of US weapons, although so far only USD 43 billion of that has been detailed.