Khashoggi murder row: Saudi Crown Prince’s ‘interactions’ with global leaders make news

Khashoggi murder row: Saudi Crown Prince’s ‘interactions’ with global leaders make news

Agency News

Buenos Aires, Dec 1 : Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, once hailed in Western capitals as a new breed of economic and social reformer but who lately courted row over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, however, appeared far from isolated at the G20 Summit.

Most global leaders have interacted with him and the likes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held bilateral talks with him on Friday.

In fact, among others Russian President Vladimir Putin shook hands with Saudi Crown Prince and apparently shared a joke. The video has gone viral on social network and various well known global websites.

"Later, Mohammed sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the G-20 summit began. The two were filmed aggressively shaking hands and laughing as they greeted each other," said a report in 'The Washington Post'.

"For the Saudi crown prince, it (G20 Summit) was a chance to see whether he would now get the cold shoulder from the same leaders who once embraced him," wrote Adam Taylor in the paper.

Another video that has gone viral vis-a-vis Saudi Crown Prince is his exchange of pleasantries with the French President Emmanuel Macron.

"The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, suspected of ordering the murder of the dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi and accused of war crimes in the Yemen conflict, has told the French president, Emmanuel Macron, “Don’t worry” at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. The two leaders were having an informal conversation on the sidelines of the summit, standing close together and apparently unaware their conversation was being recorded," said a report in 'The Guardian.

Prime Minister Modi's bilateral talks with Crown Prince also fetched in criticism.

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director at Human Rights Watch, tweeted disapproving the meeting. "Indian PM Modi should be ashamed to allow this kind of photo at today's G20 summit without a peep from him about the Saudi crown prince's role in Jamal Khashoggi's murder or in the bombing and starving of Yemeni civilians," he wrote.

For his part, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale later told reporters on Friday: “We expect that in the next two to three years there will be significant scaling up of Saudi investments in India".

There are different versions to the tale of murder or alleged disappearance of journalist Khashoggi.

Apparently there was considerable 'unease' among global leaders as it was surfaced that the crown Prince would be in G20 meet.

This is Bin Salman’s first outing for a major international event since the murder of the US-based journalist.

Canada has slapped sanctions on 17 Saudi officials for their alleged involvement in the murder of Khashoggi.(UNI)