Putin and Saudi Crown Prince 'high five' at G20 photo op

Aaron Brown
December 2, 2018

At the start of the G20 summit Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was seen enjoying a chat with both French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Video of their meeting shows the two speaking in hushed tones with their heads close together, Mr Macron looking the crown prince in the eye and Prince Mohammed nodding his head and at times smiling.

Trump has had no discussion yet with the crown prince but would not rule one out.

Macron, undeterred and continuing on with the conversation, later says "I'm a man of my word".

During the five-minute exchange, Salman is heard urging Macron not to worry, to which the French president promptly replied, "I am anxious".

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 U.S. business and for its hostility to Iran.

Despite initial pleasantries, the crown prince looked sidelined during the official "family photo" of world leaders and other dignitaries, standing at the far edge of the group portrait and ignored.

The prime minister's aides refused to say whether she would ask the crown prince if he was directly involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

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Saudi senior royals have not demonstrated an ability to reduce the influence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS); King Salman has continued backing his son. The Prime Minister told bin Salman there needed to "be full transparency about exactly what had happened" following the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

On Yemen, the spokesman said that Mrs May set out the "urgent need" to bring an end to the conflict and bring relief to millions threatened by starvation.

Trudeau said he conveyed to Prince Salman "the need for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid to go to Yemen, which is the largest human catastrophe going on in the world right now".

Saudi Arabia has launched a war in Yemen that has split the country and left an estimated 13 million people at risk from starvation.

"That is a message that we have consistently given since the awful murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and it is a message that we will continue to give".

She promised to push for a transparent, credible investigation that would ensure "confidence in the outcome of it".

He was welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in the capital at the start of the G20 Leaders' Summit.

A G20 communique said "We renew our commitment to work together to improve a rules-based worldwide order that is capable of effectively responding to a rapidly changing world". Given Turkish president Recep Erdogan's purge of public institutions of detractors and critiques since 2016, news from the country is published with the government's consent.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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