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AFP
November 9, 2019

Saudi king hosts CIA chief

World

AFP
November 9, 2019

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman hosted the Central Intelligence Agency’s director on Thursday, state media said, after three people were charged in the United States with spying on Twitter users critical of the royal family.

The king and Gina Haspel "discussed a number of topics of mutual interest", the official Saudi Press Agency said, without offering details. The meeting in Riyadh was attended by a number of Saudi officials including Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and intelligence chief Khalid al-Humaidan.

Haspel’s visit comes after a US court on Wednesday charged three people, including two Saudis, with spying on Twitter users critical of the kingdom’s royal family. A senior Saudi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the kingdom had not yet looked at the criminal complaint.

"But what I can tell you is that we expect all our citizens to abide by the laws of the countries in which they live," the official told reporters in Washington. The trio -- including two former Twitter employees -- allegedly worked to unmask the ownership details behind dissident Twitter accounts on behalf of someone prosecutors designated "Royal Family Member-1". The Washington Post reported the latter to be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler.

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