Author: Samuel Osborne
Date: Monday, 5/12/2016
A Saudi Arabian journalist and commentator has been banned by his country for criticising US President-elect Donald Trump.
Jamal Khashoggi has been banned from writing in newspapers, making TV appearances and attending conferences, Middle East Eye reports.
After Mr Khashoggi criticised Mr Trump’s Middle East policies at a Washington think-tank on 10 November, an official Saudi spokesman said he did not represent the Kingdom in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency.
Speaking at the Washington Institute, Mr Khashoggi described Mr Trump’s stance on the Middle East as “contradictory”, BreakingEnergy.com reported.
Mr Khashoggi said that while Mr Trump has been vocally anti-Iran, he has hinted he will support President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war, a move which will ultimately bolster Iran.
“The expectation that ‘Trump as president’ will be starkly different from ‘Trump as candidate’ is a false hope at best,” he added.
Mr Khashoggi was also quoted in a Washington Post article discussing potential changes in the Middle East as a result of Mr Trump’s election victory.
In the article, he described hopes for a regional reconciliation as “wishful thinking” which he said was at odds with Mr Trump’s “apparent determination to ally more closely with Russia”.
He added: “When his advisers show him the map, will he realise supporting Putin means supporting the Iranian agenda?”
Mr Khashoggi’s weekly column in the Al Hayat newspaper did not appear this week, despite being published every Saturday for nearly five years.
He previously held the position of editor-in-chief at a number of Saudi newspapers, including The Arab Times and Al-Watan.
The Independent has contacted the Saudi embassy for comment.