Friday, 2 November 2018

Netanyahu: 'Saudi Arabia deserves a Treatment for Khashoggi murder" - Israeli PM Speaks 




By Yaron Steinbuch


Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said Friday that Saudi Arabia should get a pass for murdering US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi because the kingdom is an ally of the Jewish state against Iran.

“What happened at the Istanbul consulate was horrendous and it should be duly dealt with. But at the same time, it is very important for the stability of the region and the world that Saudi Arabia remain stable,” Netanyahu said in Bulgaria, the Times of Israel reported.

Khashoggi reportedly was strangled and then dismembered on Oct. 2 by a Saudi assassination squad under orders from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman because the journalist was critical of the Saudi regime.

Netanyahu declared that his killers should somehow be punished, but that his overriding concern was the kingdom’s role in thwarting Iran’s Mideast ambitions, which include the destruction of Israel.

“I think that a way must be found to achieve both goals. Because the larger problem I believe is Iran, and we have to make sure that Iran does not continue the malign activities that it has been engaged in over the last few weeks in Europe,” he said.

“We have helped uncover two terrorist attacks — one in Paris, and the other one in Copenhagen, organized by the Iranian secret service. Blocking Iran is at the top of our agenda for security, not merely for Israel but I believe for Europe and the world as well,” he added, referring to a pair of recent plots thwarted by Iran’s targets.

Netanyahu’s comments came a day after reports said he had urged the White House to go easy on the crown prince — who is close to first son-in-law Jared Kushner — despite mounting outrage over Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Netanyahu told Team Trump that bin Salman was a key partner in the alliance against Iranian expansion in the region.

The Israeli PM also said Friday that his invitation to a sitdown with four Balkan leaders was a sign of Israel’s improved international standing.

Netanyahu was in Bulgaria for the Craiova Forum, which included the leaders of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Greece.
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