Saudi foreign minister defends role in securing Ukraine prisoner swaps

Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud decries as ‘cynical’ accusations his country was trying to improve its image after Khashoggi killing

It would be cynical to see Saudi Arabia’s efforts to secure the release of international prisoners held by Russian proxies in Ukraine as an attempt to improve the country’s image after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, its foreign minister has said.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud said on Friday that Riyadh had first approached the UK government in April, shortly after Aiden Aslin, a British citizen, and others were captured at Mariupol, and had acted for compassionate reasons, hoping to negotiate their release.

This story was amended on Friday 23 September 2022 to correct the name of the Saudi foreign minister.

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