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Saudi king's speech makes no mention of slain jour-nalist

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Riyadh, Nov 20 (AP) - Saudi Arabia's King Sal-man on Monday gave his first major speech since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents, expressing support for his son, the crown prince, and making no mention of allegations that the young royal ordered the killing.
The annual policy speech by the king instead hig-hlighted Saudi Arabia's priorities for the coming year, focusing on issues such as the war in Yemen, security for Palestinians, stability in the oil market, countering rival Iran and job creation for Saudis.
The king voiced support for his favored son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, saying that the 32-year-old heir to the throne is focused on de-veloping the capabilities of Saudi youth. The prince oversees all major levers of power in the kingdom, ranging from security to the economy.
"The country is working tirelessly to create more jobs and training for Saudi youth," Salman said. "The crown prince, chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, has focused on developing human capabilities and preparing the new genera-tion for future jobs."
Saudi media reported Monday that the crown prince will attend the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires later this month. It would be the first trip abroad for the crown prince after the Oct. 2 slaying of Khashoggi, and would bring him face to face with world leaders from the U.S., Turkey, Canada and European countries that have strong-ly criticized the kingdom for the brutal killing.
King Salman delivered his remarks in the ornate hall of the consultative Shura Council before the coun-try's ministers, senior offi-cials, military officers and clerics. Prince Mohammed was in attendance and seated next to the country's top cleric.
In the wake of Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the 82-year-old monarch put Prince Mohammed in charge of overseeing the reorganization of intelli-gence services. The king's speech made no reference to that, but he did com-mend Saudi Arabia's judi-ciary and public prosecu-tion for their work in seeking justice in accordance with Islamic law.
He said the kingdom "takes pride in the blessed efforts" of the judiciary and public prosecution, adding that Saudi Arabia affirms its commitment to the application of Islamic law.
On Thursday, Saudi prose-cutors said they are seek-ing the death penalty against five men suspected of killing Khashoggi, who had written critically of the crown prince in columns for The Washington Post. The prosecutor's announcement sought to quiet the global outcry over Khashoggi's death and distance the killers and their operation from the crown prince.
U.S. intelligence officials, however, have concluded that the crown prince or-dered the killing, accord-ing to a U.S. official familiar with the assess-ment. Others familiar with the case caution that while it's likely that the crown prince was involved in the death, there continue to be questions about what role he played.
Saudi investigators say a high-ranking adviser to the crown prince, Saud al-Qahtani, and a senior intelligence official, Ahmed al-Assiri, concocted a plan to force Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia, deeming his presence abroad as a threat to national security.
Saudi prosecutors say the 15-man team sent to Istan-bul exceeded their authori-ty when the lead negotia-tor in the team decided to kill Khashoggi for refusing orders to return. The Saudis say the agents killed Khashoggi with tranquilizers and then dis-membered his body, which has not been found.
Those findings came after Saudi authorities spent weeks denying Khashoggi had been killed in the em-bassy.
This past week, U.S. intel-ligence officials briefed members of the Senate and House intelligence com-mittees on their conclu-sions, and the Treasury Department announced economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the killing. Among those sanctioned was al-Qahtani, who was fired from his post as the crown prince's adviser after details of the killing emerged.
President Donald Trump has said his administration will get "a very full re-port," including who was responsible for Khashog-gi's death, on Monday or Tuesday. Trump has criti-cized the Saudi response to the killing, but has been reluctant to say definitive-ly if he thinks the crown prince ordered it.