Saudi Arabia's envoy to London described the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last fall as a "stain" for the kingdom.
"What happened in Istanbul almost a year ago, was a stain on Saudi Arabia, a stain on our culture, our people, our government," Saudi Ambassador to London Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Al-Saud told the BBC in a special interview on Wednesday.
"I wish it didn't happen," he said.
The remarks, which are the first time Saudi Arabia has called the brutal murder a "stain" on the kingdom, come only two weeks before the first anniversary of the incident.
Khashoggi was killed on Oct. 2, 2018 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The kingdom initially denied any knowledge of his whereabouts after he went missing, but later attempted to blame his death on a team of rogue operatives carrying out a botched rendition operation. The killing of Khashoggi, as well as what happened before and after the incident, still maintain a visible place on both Turkey's and the international community's agenda.
Information regarding when, where and how the Saudi journalist was killed have been clarified, but the whereabouts of the body are still unknown.
Khashoggi, according to reports by the U.N. and other independent organizations, was murdered and dismembered, very likely on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
Ambassador Al-Saud was speaking to the BBC about the recent attack on the kingdom's oil installation when he took a question on the Khashoggi murder. He called the attack on the oil installations a "blow for the whole world and world economy, not just Saudi Arabia." On Saturday, armed drones struck two facilities of Saudi Arabia's oil company Aramco. Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attacks, and U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to squarely blame Iran has raised fears of conflict in the region.
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