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Davos and the End of Khashoggi’s Crisis

Davos and the End of Khashoggi’s Crisis

Sunday, 27 January, 2019 - 11:30
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
“We have long since dealt with the Khashoggi case. We talked about this issue and will naturally keep it in mind. But we will not prolong it to a hundred years to come.”

From the world-famous Davos forum, this is how Swiss President Ueli Maurer described the end of the case that has occupied the world in an exceptional and unprecedented manner. It is as if the world got preoccupied with one cause, while thousands of issues are shaking the stability of nations.

Every day, hundreds of children are killed. Innocent people are harmed. Women are raped. Governments shut down. Coups break out. States terrorize. Then, all of a sudden, all this is forgotten and only one case remains in memory.

The irony here is not because there is no heinous crime in the killing of Khashoggi, or that the crime is not reprehensible. On the contrary, Saudis are the first to denounce it before everybody else; but because the case was exploited in a disgusting manner.

Investigations are underway and the Saudi trial of the accused is in full swing. The Attorney General charged 11 detained suspects with murder, and a criminal case was brought against them, with a demand to put to death those who ordered and executed the crime. Thus, the issue is now in the past, and bringing it up again is nothing but cheap political exploitation that has been unprecedented in modern history.

The positive news this time came from Davos, where it was clear that there are those who want to move towards overcoming Khashoggi’s case and avoid sensational reporting. Western officials stressed their desire to move passed the case and return relations to their natural course. Apart from the Swiss president, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne urged the attendees of an event held on the sidelines of the forum to put the bad case of Khashoggi's death behind them. “Let's look more positively and move forward.”

Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister, Mohammed al-Jadaan, said international investors had regained their confidence in the Kingdom by proof of the demand for $7.5 billion worth of Saudi bonds when the offer was significantly oversubscribed.

This indicates that the issue no longer occupies the world as it was meant for it to do. Countries, governments, investors, and even the people, turned to their interests and to matters that are more important to them, despite all Turkish attempts to keep the ongoing media campaign, which has already become a boring Turkish drama series, the appropriate end of which is not even known to the director.

There is no doubt that the case of Jamal, May God Have Mercy on him, is nothing more than a mean to undermine the Saudi project of development and modernization. But despite all the fierce campaign, the project did not stop, but became more powerful, immunized and able to reach the long-awaited happy ending.

It is true that developments did not unfold in an ideal way as everyone hoped for, but at the same time, any transformation has its own challenges and obstacles. It is not reasonable for a country of 30 million people to be confined to a case - no matter how ruthless - while a major shift in the country will have a great impact on the region and the world.

The Kingdom is moving ahead with its project, and has thrown the Khashoggi crisis behind it, as has the world. Its challenges are bigger than a single crisis with its legal and judicial track. It is important to emphasize that the Saudis will not forget all those who objectively and rationally stood by them. They will be rewarded in kind, while the appropriate retaliation will be in store for those who exploited the crisis.

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