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

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

He said Crown Prince Mohammed had given world leaders at the G20 summit an "unbelievable explanation" of the situation, by arguing that Saudi Arabia could not be blamed unless the crime was proven.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince sent 11 messages to an aide overseeing the Jamal Khashoggi hit squad in the hours surrounding the journalist's murder, it is claimed.

May's office says the prime minister stressed to Salman the importance of ensuring those responsible for the "appalling murder" of Khashoggi are held to account.

The PM is using the G20 gathering to push her "global Britain" message, telling fellow leaders that her Brexit deal will be good for the world economy.

"China firmly supports Saudi Arabia in its push for economic diversification and social reforms, and provides mutual support on issues involving their core interests", he continued.

Erdogan also demanded again on Saturday that Saudi Arabia extradite the suspects in the slaying, saying that a trial in the kingdom was not satisfactory.

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, the two countries which are heavyweights in oil production, are known to have close ties.

Saudi Crown Prince sidelined in G20 family photo
Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia over the incident, is also in attendance. However, a White House official said the United States president had so far only exchanged pleasantries with him.

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

Saudi Arabia has long sought to diversify away from its reliance on the USA and has increasingly stepped up its engagement with China, its largest trading partner with US$42.36 billion in bilateral trade in 2017. The crown prince then tells Macron that "we will meet you".

China and Saudi Arabia have close energy ties.

France's President Emmanuel Macron sought firm talks with the crown prince when they met on Friday, according to a French official.

But there was no immediate comment from Russia's president Vladimir Putin, who in the past has called the breakup of the Soviet Union under Bush's president a "historical tragedy".

Still, MBS sent at least 11 messages to his closest adviser - who oversaw the team that killed Khashoggi - in the hours before and after the journalist's death, according to a classified Central Intelligence Agency assessment seen by the Wall Street Journal.

Bin Salman's playful nature with Macron appeared to later rub off on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was captured in another clip grinning ear-to-ear while giving the Saudi leader a hearty high-five.

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