Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: Reuters
Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: Reuters

A council of members of the Saudi Arabian ruling family has begun discussing the possibility of replacing Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, according to a report this week.

French daily Le Figaro reported the deliberations, citing a diplomatic source in Paris, and said the information was confirmed by an anonymous Saudi source in Riyadh.

A meeting attended by seven representatives of the royal family was convened to discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to Le Figaro. Khashoggi had been living as a permanent resident of the US while working for The Washington Post and went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The Turkish government claims that it has audio recordings of the killing of Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi actors inside the consulate. Some Saudis seen arriving in Turkey on the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance and suspected of involvement in the matter have been linked to the crown prince.

The incident is putting pressure on the Donald Trump administration to respond, after the US president’s initial decision to express skepticism of the accusations that the leadership was behind the disappearance.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the White House is giving Riyadh several days to present a report on an investigation, after which the administration will weigh that account with other evidence, including that presented by the Turkish government.

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