Saudi prince gets chummy, stern receptions at G-20 summit

01 December, 2018, 06:28 | Author: Lucy Floyd
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Mr Khashoggi's remains are still unaccounted for amid several worldwide investigations.

Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly greeted news of the cancellation by saying that while it was regrettable, it left the Russian president with a couple of extra hours to meet other leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

She did not question the authenticity of the transcripts, which included Macron saying to the prince, "You never listen to me", "Because I told you." and "I am a man of my word".

The pair spoke in whispers, aware they were being recorded nearby and tried to keep the conversation private.

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The crown prince's father, King Salman, has publicly backed MBS over recent weeks, and the royal family appears to have publicly accepted that MBS and his succession can not be challenged without seriously disrupting the internal stability of the family and, by extension, the state.

Bin Salman told Macron not to worry, but Macron replied, "I am anxious".

Mr Trump later said there was "no discussion" but did not rule out holding longer talks with the crown prince during the two-day summit.

French officials attempted to play up the role of Mr Macron in the exchange despite the Crown Prince's apparent indifference.

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Earlier, the Elysee official said the video showed "a sort of contrast between MbS's face sporting an embarrassed smile and the [French] president's face, which was rather stern, and was keen to convey these messages in a very firm manner".

But, in an exclamation point-heavy statement before the summit, Trump said it did not matter whether Prince Mohammed knew about Khashoggi's death because Saudi Arabia was important for United States business and for its hostility to Iran.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has also promised to push the Crown Prince on both the journalist's murder and the war in Yemen.

"The prime minister stressed the importance of ensuring that those responsible for the appalling murder of Jamal Khashoggi are held to account, and that Saudi Arabia takes action to build confidence that such a deplorable incident could not happen again", said May's office in a statement.

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Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

MBS, who is the son of Saudi Arabia's ruling King, is the de facto leader and the G20 marks his first major overseas appearance since Mr Khashoggi's murder.

The demonstrators also accused the G20 group of countries of concentrating too much on financial interests and globalization, while condemning austerity measures proposed by Argentina's government and backed by the International Monetary Fund, a dignitary at the summit.

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