The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed bin Salman, met today with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amid controversy over the disappearance and death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
At the meeting, both stressed the importance of strategic relations between Washington and Riyadh and the future of this association, according to the official agency SPA.
They also discussed trade relations and bilateral investments, as well as joint efforts in the fight against corruption and against the financing of terrorism, the agency added.
The meeting was held a few days after Mnuchin announced that he would not attend the Future Investment Initiative economic forum, known as the "Davos of the desert," which is held between morning and Thursday in Riyadh.
In announcing his decision, Mnuchin explained that he previously met with US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Several sponsors and guests at the forum, including the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, and the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, have also canceled their participation in the forum following the scandal over the disappearance of the journalist.
Jamal Khashoggi died on October 2 when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to perform some bureaucratic procedures.
The Saudi authorities denied at first the death of the journalist critical of the regime and assured that he had left the consulate.
However, on Saturday, the Saudi authorities claimed that Khashoggi died in the course of a "fight" with the agents who were trying to interrogate him in the diplomatic legation.
Trump said today that he is not "satisfied" with the explanations given by the Saudi government about Khashoggi's death.
"I'm not satisfied with what I've heard" about Khashoggi's death, Trump said in statements to reporters at the White House.
The United Kingdom, France and Germany said Sunday that Saudi Arabia's version of Khashoggi's death needs to be backed by "facts" to be considered "credible".
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced the suspension of the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia because it can not be done in the "current circumstances", in reference to the Khashoggi case.
The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced that tomorrow he will reveal the results of the Turkish investigation of the alleged murder of the journalist.