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During the meeting in early March, Pope Tawadros thanked bin Salman for the kind treatment towards Christians in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while the Crown Prince said he is grateful for the peaceful reactions of the Egyptian Church regarding the recent terrorist attacks targeting them.

Numerous detainees surrendered huge sums of money in order to leave the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, where the arrested were held.

In an article published Monday, The New York Times wrote that, according to officials, royals and various associates of those who had been detained in the luxury hotel, the crackdown was in fact a, "coercive operation, marked by cases of physical abuse".

Relatives of some of the detainees said they were deprived of sleep, roughed up and interrogated with their heads covered while the government pressured them to sign over large assets.

In November, Saudi Arabia launched an anti-corruption purge, arresting hundreds of the country's elite, including billionaires, government ministers, and royal family members.

This would be the first White House visit of the Crown Prince.

Now, others are said to be living in fear of what could be next. "All those under investigation had full access to legal counsel in addition to medical care to address pre-existing, chronic conditions".

Gen. Qahtani, an officer in the Saudi National Guard who was believed to be about 60, was not wealthy himself, so his value as a major anti-corruption target is questionable.

Bin Talal, the chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, is one of the world's richest men with assets valued by Bloomberg at $19 billion.

The king's decision came from "his concern over combating corruption in all its forms aiming to protect the homeland and its resources, maintain public money and protect the integrity of the public employment", according to Saudi state media.

Several dozen others, whose names have not been disclosed, remain in custody in a prison outside of the capital and may stand trial, although the allegations against them have not been made public.

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