Spain's former king Juan Carles I has been in Abu Dhabi this Sunday, accompanied by his daughter the Infanta Cristina, to witness Fernando Alonso's adios to Formula 1. There, the Spanish king who abdicated in 2014 coincided with the controversial crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, and photographs show the two monarchic figures together.
The encounter takes place with the Saudi prince heavily embroiled in the question of the murder of journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The CIA has directly implicated Mohamed bin Salman as the person who ordered the killing of the journalist. Khashoggi was murdered by a group of agents who flew in from Saudi Arabia, some of them close to the crown prince, immediately after arriving at the consulate, where he had gone on October 2nd to collect documents to allow him to marry his Turkish fiancee.
According to the United States intelligence agency, Khashoggi, who lived in Washington, had earlier spoken to the Saudi ambassador in the US, Jaled bin Salmán, about his journey to Turkey to obtain the documents. Jaled bin Salmán is the crown prince's brother.
Meanwhile, the Saudi prosecutor has demanded the death penalty for five people accused of the journalist's murder, and has laid charges against another six, while also assuring that the crown prince was not aware of the crime.
The Khashoggi murder is not the only controversy linked to this encounter between Juan Carles I and the Saudi crown prince; Sunday's photograph takes place shortly after Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez spoke in the Spanish Congress defending the decision to maintain his country's arms exports to Saudi Arabia, so as not to damage the Spanish defence industry and, in particular, to ensure the continuity of employment in the naval shipbuilder Navantia, based near Cádiz.
The Spanish decision contrasted with the suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia ordered by Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that no more arms would be sold until Khashoggi's death was clarified: "Arms exports cannot take place in the current circumstances", affirmed the chancellor.
In the last week, authorities in Denmark have also announced that their country will stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of the case of the murdered journalist.