SAUDI, NNC -- Saudi Arabia said on Sunday (10/21/2018) callsthat the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was "the biggest mistake", but sought to protect its crown prince from a widespread crisis, adding that Mohammed bin Salman was not aware of the incident.
Previously, for two weeks after the disappearance of Khashoggi, the Saudis actually denied his death, before finally admitting it amid international condemnation.
Weeks of denial and lack of credible evidence in the face of allegations from Turkish officials that Khashoggi has been killed have shaken global confidence in relations with the world's major oil exporters.
Reported by Middle East Monitor, US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said Saudi Arabia's admission that the Washington Post columnist was killed in a fight was "a good first step but not enough," although he added it was too early to discuss appropriate sanctions against Riyadh.
Three European powers - Germany, Britain and France - pressured Riyadh to hand over real facts, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that it would not export weapons to Saudi Arabia while uncertainty over Khashoggi's fate had arisen.
On Sunday night, the Saudi Press Agency said that Saudi King Salman and Prince Mohammed had summoned Khashoggi's son, Salah, to express their condolences.
Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Foreign Minister, had expressed his condolences to the Khashoggi family earlier on Sunday.
"This is a big mistake. This is a terrible tragedy. Our condolences go out to them. We feel their pain," Jubeir told US broacaster, Fox. "Unfortunately, big and serious mistakes have occurred and I assure them that those who are responsible will be held accountable."