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The prince himself has faced global criticism, with many officials saying he must have known about Khashoggi's killing in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, allegedly by Saudi security agents, and some saying he may have ordered the killing.

On Wednesday, the prince called the killing "heinous" and "painful to all Saudis" in his first extensive public remarks on the topic.

An adviser to Turkey's president said Prince Mohammed had "blood on his hands" over Khashoggi, the bluntest language yet from someone linked to Erdogan.

Saudi Arabia's prosecutor has determined the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul premeditated, contradicting earlier contentions that the journalist was killed by accident.

"I want to send them a message: They will not be able to do that [i.e., harm Saudi-Turkish relations] as long as there is a king called King Salman bin Abdulaziz and a crown prince called Mohamed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia and a president in Turkey named [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan", the crown prince declared. A Turkish official said the Washington Post report was accurate.

"We will prove to the world that the two governments are cooperating to punish any criminal, any culprit, and in the end justice will prevail", Prince Mohammed said, to widespread applause from conference delegates in the hall.

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Nearly two dozen United States members of Congress introduced a bill that would suspend future USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters that Saudi authorities had staged the "worst cover-up ever" of the crime, and suggested to the Wall Street Journal that the crown prince may be responsible.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday laid out his country's initial findings in its investigation, saying Khashoggi's murder was "premeditated". "He's running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him". The U.S. has always been Saudi Arabia's most important partner and Trump has made the kingdom the centerpiece of his efforts to isolate Iran.

On Thursday, Prince Mohammed attended the first meeting of a committee aiming to restructure the kingdom's intelligence services after the killing of Khashoggi, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

"Prime Minister Saad is staying in the kingdom for two days so I hope you don't spread rumors that he was kidnapped", Prince Mohammed, who is also known as MbS, said.

Hariri, sitting beside the crown prince, even took part in the humour as the audience laughed.

During the panel MbS touted Saudi Arabia's success in its efforts to transform its oil-dependent economy and make the deeply conservative kingdom a more tolerant society.


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