Crown Prince holds talks with Tunisian President

Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Prince Mohammed bin Salman

In Cairo, small crowds of Egyptian supporters chanted slogans in favor of Crown Prince Mohammed, as government officials, including President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, gave him a strong welcome, in what was being billed as his sixth visit to the country since his father became king in 2015.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived Tuesday in Tunisia, where hundreds of people have been protesting the visit over the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, Saudi Arabia admitted weeks later that he was killed there.

Prince Mohammed visited Abu Dhabi Thursday as he began his first tour overseas since the murder of the Saudi journalist in October.

Riyadh is a close regional ally of Cairo and it has supported Egypt with billions of USA dollars and tons of oil supplies to boost the Egyptian economy following the military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests. It will not hold a news conference, a usual event at top visits.

The president said last week that he did not believe the CIA's report linking MbS to the murder, a statement cited soon after by the Saudi foreign minister to legitimize claims that the prince was not involved.

Tunisian President Essebsi's office said Tunisia denounces the journalist's killing and wants a full investigation, but doesn't want it to be used to destabilize Saudi Arabia.

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On Monday, an inquiry into Mohammed bin Salman's possible involvement in war crimes was opened in Argentina, ahead of the G-20 summit of world leaders he is expected to attend later this week.

He pointed out that the first visits for the Crown Prince were to the coalition countries to emphasize strength in the face of blackmailing attempts by Turkey, and the continuity of Arab positions on some issues such as the Qatar boycott.

"It was premeditated murder", he told the German newspaper, rather than a last resort after they failed to convince him to return to Saudi Arabia.

Another irritant is that moderate Islamists have been sharing power with secularists in Tunisia since 2011.

Travelling overseas for the first time since the killing, the crown prince is visiting Arab allies before heading to a Group of 20 summit in Argentina this week, where he may face questions about the gruesome slaying.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Articles appear on for a limited time.

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