Macron tells Saudi prince global experts needed in Khashoggi probes - Elysee

Marsha Scott
December 1, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Europeans will insist on worldwide experts being part of the investigations into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an Elysee official told Reuters on November 30.

The French President made clear his disquiet to Bin Salman during a tense exchange in front of journalists and television cameras at the G20 Summit of world leaders in Argentina.

The Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, has denied any involvement in the murder, but USA intelligence officials believe he directed the operation.

In the audio of the conversation, it's possible to make out the prince saying "Don't worry", to which Macron responds: "I am worried".

MBS is expected to meet with just a few leaders at the summit in Buenos Aires, including Putin.

The 33-year-old heir apparent was seen chatting with US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka and shaking hands with French President Emmanuel Macron at the start of a two-day meeting of the world's top economies in Buenos Aires.

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

Britain has come under pressure to cease arms sales to Saudi Arabia because of the high death toll in air raids by the Western-backed Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

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Mr. Trump for his part has so far kept his distance from both Putin and the crown prince at the G-20.

Saudi Arabia maintains that the Crown Prince had no knowledge of the killing.

Russian media are now reporting that the two will have a brief and impromptu meeting on the sidelines of the summit, contrary to Mr Trump's earlier position that he didn't want to meet because of Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian navy vessels last week.

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

One of the leaders Mr Putin was scheduled to have more formal bi-lateral talks with was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"It only wasn't set up", the president told reporters Thursday.

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

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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