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Tillerson: Saudi Purge Raises Few Concerns

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that "Saudi Arabia's mass purge of elites accused of graft raises a few concerns."

Tillerson

He further warned that Washington was closely monitoring the Gulf country's unprecedented probe into embezzlement worth $100 billion.

Speaking to reporters before landing in the Vietnamese city of Danang, where Tillerson is accompanying President Donald Trump to the APEC summit, Washington's top diplomat said Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption purge was "well intended".

"My own view is that it does, it raises a few concerns until we see more clearly how these particular individuals are dealt with," he said.

More than 200 people are being held for questioning over what Saudi Arabia says is an estimated $100 billion embezzlement and corruption scandal, the biggest purge of the kingdom's elite in its modern history.

A political crisis is also unfolding in Lebanon after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his shock resignation in a speech from Riyadh.

"How disruptive it's going to be remains to be seen," Tillerson said, adding he had spoken to his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir two days ago.

"It's my understanding that they're characterizing these as not really arrests at this point but they're presenting people with evidence of what they think the wrongdoing is to see if there's a willingness to want to make things right," he added.

"So how they choose to deal with it at this point is still a bit unclear but I wouldn't want to read more than what we know at this point."

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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