Tunisians hold first Arab protests against visiting Saudi crown prince

Tunisians hold first Arab protests against visiting Saudi crown prince

Tunisians hold first Arab protests against visiting Saudi crown prince

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Egypt on Monday, continuing his first trip overseas since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul drew global condemnation.

It was the second protest in as many days against the de facto Saudi ruler, who was expected to fly into Tunis from Egypt on Tuesday for talks with President Beji Caid Essebsi.

The Saudi crown prince is expected to arrive on Tuesday as part of a tour of several Arab countries on his first trip overseas since Khashoggi's murder.

USA media reported earlier that the briefing would also focus on the Saudi role in the death of Khashoggi, and whether to impose further sanctions on the kingdom.

Republican Senator Joni Ernst, also speaking to CNN acknowledged Saudi Arabia's importance as a strategic partner. However, the Trump administration has been reluctant to further punish the Saudi government, citing alliance significance and Saudi Arabia's purchase of USA military equipment.

Citing Argentina's robust human rights law, Human Right Watch (HRW) filed a petition on Monday asking a federal prosecutor to bring charges against the crown prince, a close ally of President Donald Trump, for "violations of global law committed during the armed conflict in Yemen" including the killings of more than 15,000 civilians and blockades which have pushed 14 million people to the brink of starvation.

The crown prince told Tunisian state television that Saudi Arabia has long had good relations with Tunisia, adding, "I can not come to North Africa without visiting Tunisia.Tunisia's president is like my father".

Just as Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest supporters of Egypt and its people, so Egypt has been the biggest supporter of the Kingdom, and of its policies and steps toward an enlightened future.

The Saudi-led coalition, which is backed by the US, since 2015 has carried out scores of "indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes on civilians and civilian objects in Yemen", Human Rights Watch said in its statement.

"He is coming to this country to dirty it, and acquire a false legitimacy", Tahar Yahya, of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers said Monday night.

In March 2018, Prince Salman visited Cairo for the first time since his appointment as Crown Prince. The banner reads, "No to the desecration of Tunisia".

Khashoggi's murder has also led to increased scrutiny of Saudi Arabia's role in Yemen's devastating war.

The office of Argentine President Mauricio Macri declined to comment on the prospect of arresting MBS, saying only that his attendance at the G-20 summit "remains confirmed".

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