Putin, Echoing Trump, Says Saudi Ties Too Important To Diminish Over Khashoggi

Both President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have said it's too soon to reach judgment on Saudi Arabia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed the words of his American counterpart on Thursday, saying Moscow does not have enough information regarding the disappearance of Saudi journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi to justify pulling back from Saudi Arabia.

Via Reuters:

> Turkey says Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed by Saudi agents in Riyadh’s diplomatic mission in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and his body cut up. Saudi Arabia denies the allegation.

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> Putin told a discussion forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi that Moscow did not really know what had happened in the case, that it was a pity that the journalist had gone missing, and that Russia would wait for details.

President Donald Trump has taken a similar tack, saying in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that some countries and individuals are rushing to judgment.

“Well, I think we have to find out what happened first. You know, here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent,” Trump said, comparing the situation to that of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault prior to his confirmation. “I don’t like that.”

The president added that Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "were very strong in their denial about themselves knowing" what happened to Khashoggi.

And to turn back on the planned $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom would be foolish, Trump has said, arguing that it will only hurt the U.S.

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