(Jerusalem, Israel) — On Wednesday, The Jerusalem Post published the first in-depth story on our Evangelical Delegation to Saudi Arabia, why we went, and what the Crown Prince told us behind closed doors.
As I told editors Yaakov Katz and Seth Frantzman in the Post’s offices yesterday, the entire meeting in the Royal Palace was on the record, except for what MBS told us regarding his views of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Our team took detailed notes and I provided some of the excerpts of our conversation to the Post. Here’s the article.
MBS TO EVANGELICALS: KHASHOGGI MURDER WAS TERRIBLE “HEINOUS ACT”: But he won’t let it stop his ability to take his country where he wants to go, the delegation head says.
By Seth Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post, November 6, 2018
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said he will not let the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi hinder the vision he has for his country, a visiting Evangelical delegation relayed.
“The crown prince called it a heinous act,” Joel Rosenberg, who led the delegation of Evangelical Christians from the US on November 1, told The Jerusalem Post, adding how the Saudi leader is reshaping the Middle East. “He said it was a terrible mistake.”
According to Rosenberg, the Saudi leader was convincing in seeking to put the perpetrators in prison.
“He also wants to keep moving. He doesn’t want it [the killing] to implode his ability to take his country where it wants to go.”
MBS was willing to discuss the killing and understood concerns over it, but wanted to stress that the tragedy would not cause him to stop his reforms. “My enemies are exploiting this to the fullest,” he said.
The crown prince also said the head of Egyptian intelligence recently came to Riyadh, and a terrorist cell with Saudi citizens had been caught in northern Sinai. “They were planning to assassinate me,” MBS told the delegation.
“We must fight the extremists and defeat them or they will stop us and the reforms we are making to make life better for the people of Saudi Arabia,” he said during the historic meeting at the Royal Palace in Riyadh. “We are fighting extremists in the ideological war and we are fighting terrorists in a physical war,” he said, sketching out a plan to bolster an alliance in the region with the US and other Saudi allies.
The visit came at a time of great change in the region. Rosenberg arrived in Riyadh a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from Oman and days after Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev was in the United Arab Emirates. It also came in wake of the Manama Dialogue summit where Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir had praised the US for defeating ISIS and confronting Iran.
The crown prince sat for hours with the delegation of Christian leaders. For Rosenberg, a dual US-Israel citizen, it was the culmination of a series of similar discussions. He has met multiple times with….