While the world continues to demand answers following the suspected slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has reportedly felt it necessary to intervene in the crisis as fears mount that his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been struggling to handle the situation. Reuters reported Friday that the king dispatched his most trusted aide, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, governor of Mecca, to Istanbul on Oct. 11 to try to defuse the crisis, just over a week after Khashoggi disappeared. While in Istanbul, Turkey and Saudi Arabia agreed to form a joint working group to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance. “The selection of Khaled, a senior royal with high status, is telling as he is the king’s personal adviser, his right hand man and has had very strong ties and a friendship with [Turkish President] Erdogan,” a Saudi source with links to government circles told Reuters.
Another source said King Salman has been “asserting himself” in containing the affair. As MBS has been effectively running the country, King Salman was reportedly unaware of the situation until it became an international story. “The king started asking aides and MBS about it. MBS had to tell him and asked him to intervene when Khashoggi’s case became a global crisis,” a source told Reuters.