Next week will see the arrival of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Malaysia – the royal’s first state tour of Asia since his implication in the recent high-profile murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The CIA has accused Prince Mohammed of ordering the death of Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the kingdom – an accusation the prince has strenuously denied.
Widespread outrage at the journalist’s gruesome death dealt the crown prince’s international reputation a “severe blow“, the New York Times said, and forced him to spend weeks “lying low” before returning to the public stage, Reuters reported.
The prince will meet Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during his visit on Feb 17 and 18, The Star said.
According to a separate report by The Star, Mahathir has publicly condemned Khashoggi’s murder, calling the move an act of “extreme cruelty” that he said Malaysia does not support.
“(Such behaviour) is not acceptable. We too have people that we do not like, but we don’t kill them,” The Star reported Mahathir as saying at a media forum last October.
Apart from Malaysia, the prince will also visit Pakistan, Indonesia, India and China, Reuters said.