Saudi crown prince starts official visit to Algeria

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seen behind a military band upon his arrival at Algiers International Airport

Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in over 400 WhatsApp messages that he sent to a fellow Saudi exile before he was murdered in October, described Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as a "beast" and a "pac-man" who would devour all in his path, even his supporters, a media report said.

The five projects, due to be launched in 2019, were agreed upon at the 12th Algerian-Saudi Business Forum held in the capital Algiers earlier in the day.

The Labour leader called the Saudi prince "the chief architect of the brutal war in Yemen" and someone "believed to have ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi".

Khashoggi's killing has put mounting pressure on Riyadh and Prince Mohammed, who Turkish officials - and reportedly the Central Intelligence Agency - have concluded was behind the critic's death.

The crown prince was met with protests in Tunisia, but has been warmly received by government officials in the region.

Saudi crown prince starts official visit to Algeria
Saudi crown prince starts official visit to Algeria

The crown prince told his close circle last August that if they failed to bring back Khashoggi "we could lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements". Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen living in the United States (US) before his death, was critical of the regime in Riyadh. It was jointly denounced by 17 intellectuals, journalists, Muslim scholars and other figures in Algeria in a statement obtained by AFP. It will also develop stronger ties in trade, investment, energy and in the cultural and educational sectors.

But US President Donald Trump has said that it does not matter if the crown prince ordered the killing of Khashoggi, who lived near Washington, because the kingdom is a major buyer of arms, supplier of oil and opponent of Iran.

Saudi Ambassador to Algeria Abdulaziz Al-Omairini said the visit stresses the deep-rooted relations between the two countries and the joint action to develop them in all fields.

It said Prince Mohammed was "responsible for the death of a large number of children and civilians in Yemen" as well as that of Khashoggi. Qatar denies the allegations.

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