World leaders welcome Saudi Arabian prince at G20, Putin delighted

Hannah Rogers
December 1, 2018

"Don't worry", Prince Mohammed is heard saying in English to the French leader, who responds, "I do worry". "I mean, I would - I would have met with him, but we didn't set that one up".

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday reportedly insisted that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman include global experts in the investigation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder, noting that the crown prince never heeds his words.

"They exchanged pleasantries at the leaders' session as he did with almost every leader in attendance", a senior White House official said.

In a five-minute exchange on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina, Mr Macron conveyed "very firm" messages to the prince over the killing and the need to find a political solution for the situation in Yemen, an Elysee official said.

Salman, who has recently been accused by the worldwide community for the ordered killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the country's role in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 28 November to attend the annual G20 summit.

Macri has said accusations that Prince Mohammed was involved in Khashoggi's death could be discussed by world leaders during the two-day summit.

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While at the G20 summit, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May have both reportedly had words with the prince.

Mr Trump is also reported to have had a short meeting with the Crown Prince. Trump cited Putin's recent provocations against Ukraine, although the optics of him meeting the Russian leader at a time of renewed focus on his business dealings with Moscow were potentially not great.

The US Senate nonetheless moved this week to end support for the Saudi-led war against rebels in Yemen amid outrage over attacks on civilian sites including a school bus and hospitals.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people, including protesters from anti-capitalist and rights groups, held multiple rallies against the summit, slamming US President Donald Trump, among other key figures, for what they called failing to address a broad range of issues, including climate change, poverty and immigration.

One leader who nearly didn't make the photo was outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who ran in at the last minute to a round of applause from the others, waving his hand in apology.

Mr Trump has branded the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, "the biggest trade deal in the United States history".

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