Prince Andrew will engage with Saudi Arabia despite journalist murder

Prince Andrew defends ‘engaging’ with young Saudi entrepreneurs as he says his [email protected] initiative should continue despite journalist’s murder

  • Duke said the death of Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey was an ‘awful state of affairs’
  • But Saudis shouldn’t be blamed for something ‘they had nothing to do with’
  • Saudi allegedly murdered him, chopped up his body and dissolved it in acid
  • Andrew said: ‘I do not believe that we should stop for one moment encouraging and supporting starting and growing businesses’

Prince Andrew has revealed an organisation he set up to encourage entrepreneurs will continue to engage with Saudi Arabia, despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Duke said the Washington Post columnist’s death was an ‘awful state of affairs’ but added young Saudis should not ‘take the blame for something that they had nothing to do with’.

Mr Khashoggi, who was an outspoken critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Saudi assassins lured him there, murdered and dissolved his body in acid after it was cut up, Turkish officials have claimed.

Prince Andrew, pictured with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in 2010, said today he will still work with the country despite the murder of a predominant journalist on foreign soil


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The Duke of York founded the [email protected] initiative to encourage entrepreneurs said Saudi Arabia was the first country to ‘ask us to take Pitch outside the UK, and we went in 2015 and it was a great success’.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the Duke said Mr Khashoggi’s killing was an ‘absolutely awful state of affairs, and how and what and why is beyond my knowledge and ability to answer’.

He added: ‘Do I think that we should be engaging with Saudi Arabia?

Mr Khashoggi, who was an outspoken critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

‘From a Pitch perspective, and Pitch alone, I do not believe that we should stop for one moment encouraging and supporting starting and growing businesses.

‘They need to diversify their economy, they’ve got a very young population that is growing and needing things to do, and so if we are just one of a whole range of activities that are going on, then I think that they shouldn’t necessarily take the blame for something that they had nothing to do with.’ 

In a wide ranging interview he said ‘people call me the entrepreneur in residence at Buckingham Palace’.

He also backed calls for a new Royal Yacht after Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997.

The Duke of York was the UK’s “special representative” for trade and investment until 2011 when he quit after a decade.

He said: ‘The decision here at Buckingham Palace was that every member of the family should be helping in the trade relationships around the world.

‘I still do support the UK in every way that I did previously but we all do it now and we do it in a slightly different way’. 

His interview  came on a royal dominated day at the BBC who are tonight showing a major documentary tonight Prince Charles’ 70th birthday next week

The Prince of Wales rules out being a ‘meddling monarch’ when he succeeds to the throne. 

And he vows to stop campaigning on the environment, architecture and homeopathy as king, insisting: ‘I’m not that stupid.’

Speaking for the first – and, aides insist, last – time on a subject that has dogged much of his time as Prince of Wales he says: ‘I do realise it is a separate exercise being sovereign. So of course I understand entirely how that should operate.

‘I’ve tried to make sure whatever I’ve done has been non-party political, but I think it’s vital to remember there’s only room for one sovereign at a time, not two.

‘You can’t be the same as the sovereign at a time, not two. You can’t be the same as the sovereign if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir. But the idea somehow that I’m going to go on exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense because the two situations are completely different.’

However, the prince is unrepentant about his public campaigning over the past half century. He says archly: ‘I always wonder what meddling is? I mean I always thought it was motivating.

‘But I’ve always been intrigued, if it’s meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago and what was happening or not happening there – the conditions in which people were living. If that’s meddling I’m very proud of it.’

 

 

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