Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Putin and MBS Share High Five and Laughs at G20 Summit

Putin and MBS Share High Five and Laughs at G20 Summit

The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, has strained Riyadh's relations with the West and battered bin Salman's image overseas.

In the video, the French President can clearly be heard saying "I am worried" after the Crown Prince tells him not to be concerned.

Already the French Presidency has said that Emmanuel Macron spoke to the Crown Prince on the summit's sidelines about both the journalist's murder and Saudi's role in the war in Yemen, which the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Macron's tense interaction with Salman was in stark contrast to his warm embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who high-fived and shared a laugh with each other at the summit's start.

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Prince Mohammed's presence at the global summit has been contentious following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

On the sidelines of the summit French President Emmanuel Macron told the crown prince that Europe would insist on worldwide experts being part of the investigation into Khashoggi's murder.

The crown prince also met briefly with US President Donald Trump on Friday.

Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya posted video on Twitter showing a cordial handshake between bin Salman and Chinese President Xi Jinping as the two held a bilateral meeting.

"No, I will listen, of course", bin Salman replies, prior to bursting into laughter.

However, some of the most interesting interactions are happening on the summit's sidelines, amid stand-offs over the US-China trade row, Russia's conflict with Ukraine and Saudi Arabia's involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister's office confirmed Theresa May and MBS had spoken on the sidelines of the G20 summit this evening.

Macron told Prince Mohammed that Europeans wanted worldwide investigators to take part in the probe on Khashoggi's death and stressed "the necessity of a political solution in Yemen", the Elysee Palace said.

After initially denying the murder, Saudi Arabia has acknowledged Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate but blamed his death on a "rogue" operation.

Later Friday, a White House official said Trump and Prince Mohammed exchanged pleasantries at a leaders' session - as the president did with almost every leader in attendance.

He is facing pressure from some leaders including the UK, France, Germany and Turkey's President Erdogan, who is also in attendance in Argentina, to admit exactly what happened.

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