Theresa May’s office said in meeting with Saudi crown prince at G20 summit she stressed importance of holding Khashoggi’s killers accountable
Theresa May told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday that he should take action to prevent incidents like the murder of Jamal Khashoggi from happening again, her office said. Saudi Arabia must take measures to “build confidence that such a deplorable incident could not happen again”, the British prime minister’s office said in a readout of a meeting May had with the crown prince, known as MBS, at the G20 summit in Argentina.
“The Prime Minister stressed the importance of ensuring that those responsible for the appalling murder of Jamal Khashoggi are held to account,” the statement read.
The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and Saudi government critic, has cast a shadow over the international summit in Buenos Aires, which began on Friday. The summit marks the first time MBS has met with several major world leaders since the journalist’s killing on 2 October inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
He received a frosty welcome from many present, as global pressure has grown to hold the Saudi crown prince accountable for Khashoggi’s murder and his country’s role in the devastating conflict in Yemen.
While Saudi officials have repeatedly denied MBS had any knowledge of Khashoggi’s killing, the CIA recently concluded that he ordered the assassination.
Testy exchange between Macron and MBS
Earlier this week, the British prime minister said she intended to discuss the Khashoggi case and the situation in Yemen with MBS.”I am intending to speak with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. The message that I give will be very clear … on this issue of Jamal Khashoggi, but also on the issue of Yemen,” she told reporters on her flight to Buenos Aires.
While some European countries have suspended future arms sales to Riyadh in the aftermath of the journalist’s murder, the UK has not said whether it plans to end its economic ties to the Gulf kingdom.
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that European G20 participants will coordinate on the Khashoggi case on Friday morning.
“Personally, I’m in favour of transparency and associating the international community in this affair, because the whole world is concerned,” he said. It was unclear whether the French president was calling for an international investigation beyond existing Turkish and Saudi probes. Macron had what appeared to be a testy exchange with MBS at the summit on Friday, which was captured in video shared widely on social media.
Much of the audio is inaudible, however it is possible to make out bin Salman saying “Don’t worry”, to which Macron responds “I am worried”. Later, Macron says: “You never listen to me”, and bin Salman replies: “I will listen, of course.”
MBS also “exchanged pleasantries” with Donald Trump at the summit, a senior White House official said, though the US president said the pair did not have any in-depth discussions.
The Saudi leader also had a friendly encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the two were seen clasping hands and smiling as they greeted one another.
Source: Middle East Eye