Editorial of the ” World “. Three weeks after his disappearance, the authorities in Riyadh have still not shed light on the brutal death of the dissident journalist saudi Jamal Khashoggi, the 2 October, in the consulate of his country, in Istanbul.

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After you have claimed that the journalist, 59 years old, saudi national residing in the United States and a columnist for the Washington Post, had left the consulate through a back door, Riyadh has recognized, at the end of eighteen days, that it was dead, and has advanced the explanation of a fight with punches that would have turned out badly. It was then a question of a bottleneck, always accidental. The minister of foreign affairs of saudi arabia, Adel Al-Joubeir, reported, Sunday, on Fox News, a “huge and serious error” committed without the knowledge of the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, alias ” MBS “, the strong man from Riyadh.

Mr. Al-Joubeir is familiar with the small screen in the United States. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, in which fifteen of the nineteen perpetrators were saudi nationals, it had already been dispatched by the crown prince Abdullah, in which he was the adviser, for trying to redress the image of the oil kingdom. This man with the perfect English and sweet voice is definitely the expert of the challenging missions : the diplomatic crisis caused by the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is the most serious facing saudi Arabia since 2001. This crisis goes well beyond its relationship with the United States.

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Pressure of the Congress

The saudi regime is not the only one to play his credibility in this case ; that of democracy is also at stake. The administration Trump demonstrated an ambivalence troubling. From the beginning, the american president, who made his privileged relationship with the Saudis, the cornerstone of its policy in the Middle East to counter Iran, has attempted to find an exit from the crisis that could exonerate ” MBS “. The alliance of american-saudi is not new : it goes back to the covenant sealed in 1945 between franklin Roosevelt and king Ibn Saud. But Donald Trump has been pushed very far, claiming openly that the economic benefits and financial, has closed its eyes on the drama in the Yemen and on the methods of repression of the young prince. Mr. Trump still believes the us $ 110 billion (95,3 billion euros) in contracts to arms that the Saudis are making him sparkle.

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The Congress waving more and more the threat of sanctions against Riyadh, the american president has proved to be a little less complacent. His secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, has declined to participate in the great conference of investors ” MBS “, scheduled for 23 October, which was boycotted by many Western countries. But Mr. Mnuchin will travel to Riyadh on this date, in order to meet with officials from saudi arabia, two weeks of the entry into force of the u.s. sanctions the most severe against Iran.

The Europeans, who also have economic interests in saudi Arabia, have adopted a tougher line. France, Germany and the United Kingdom are acting in concert to reiterate their demands for “clarification” and have rejected the hypotheses put forward by saudi Arabia. Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of the cessation of arms sales to this country. If the revelations promised by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, confirm the scenario of the grisly execution by a commando unit sent by Riyadh, the ambivalence of Donald Trump will no longer be tenable. We can’t take sanctions against Moscow for the poisoning of a double agent, and hold harmless Riyadh for the assassination of an opponent in exile.

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