Saudi king briefs Putin on investigation into Khashoggi death: SPA

CAIRO/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s King Salman spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin by telephone on Thursday to brief him on the investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to the official Saudi press agency.

The king assured Putin that the Saudi government was determined to hold the guilty parties accountable and to make sure “they receive their punishment”.

The death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has sparked global outrage and mushroomed into a crisis for the world’s top oil exporter and strategic ally of the West.

The Kremlin said in its statement on Thursday that Putin and king Salman had addressed the situation related to the “Khashoggi case” during their phone conversation.

They also discussed the situation in Syria and questions related to mutual cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia, including energy sector.

The Saudi king confirmed his invitation to Putin to visit Saudi Arabia, the Kremlin added.

Reporting by Ahmed Tolba and Polina Devitt, writing by Nayera Abdallah and Polina Devitt; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg