Saudi Crown Prince, Bahrain's King Open New Oil Pipeline

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The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and United States resident, who was a critic of the crown prince, at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul six weeks ago has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with the West and damaged Prince Mohammed's image overseas.

Amid worldwide concern about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, some 200 protesters gathered in central Tunis on Monday night to protest the prince's Tuesday arrival for talks with the Tunisian president.

The two held talks on Tuesday before the king continued on to Tunisia.

Regional allies, meanwhile, have thrown their support behind the Crown Prince.

The crown prince's visit will be the first by a Saudi royal to Tunisia since the 2011 revolution deposed longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia.

"It causes our standing in the world to plummet, it telegraphs to despots around the world that they can murder people with impunity, and that this President will have their back as long as they praise him", he said.

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

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Dozens of protesters gathered in central Tunis on Monday night to protest the prince's arrival Tuesday for talks with the Tunisian president.

While a number of high-ranking Saudi officials have since been implicated in his murder and the ensuing attempted cover-up, the Kingdom has strongly denied any involvement of the Crown Prince.

Prince Mohammed was greeted with a ceremonial reception and both the Saudi and Tunisian national anthems were played and a guard of honor expected.

Trump has brushed aside assessments by United States intelligence and other experts that the crown prince must have been involved in the high-level operation, and said he would maintain close relations with Saudi Arabia in part because of its oil wealth and its multi-billion-dollar purchases of United States arms. In 1985, an Israeli air raid on the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization south of the capital killed more than 30 people, including Tunisian citizens.

The focus of the Human Rights Watch complaint is the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The CIA has concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the operation to kill Khashoggi last month - as first reported by the Washington Post - and has briefed other parts of the USA government on its findings, sources told Reuters last week.

Cavusolgu said, however, that the final decision is up to Erdogan.

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