Macron Heard Telling Saudi Prince: 'You Never Listen to Me'

03 December, 2018, 05:10 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Israeli spyware firm denies link to Khashoggi killing

French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in a mysterious exchange with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit on Friday, during which French officials say the killing of former Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the conflict in Yemen were the main subjects.

However, Western leaders appeared to avoid the crown prince during the family photo at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires - after nearly two months of global outrage at the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Prince Mohammed has in recent days travelled to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia, before heading to Buenos Aires on Wednesday for the G20 summit.

Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia was present at the airport to receive the Saudi Crown Prince. "For Turkey, the incident is and will remain a flagrant murder within the Islamic world".

But a group of prominent journalists and intellectuals has issued an open letter protesting against his visit, saying it was "unethical and politically inappropriate".

"We have no interest in harming the Saudi Arabian state or the Saudi royal family".

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Controversy has surrounded the Saudi prince after the killing of a dissident Saudi journalist in the country's Istanbul consulate. However, the assessment also stated that there is no direct reporting of the crown prince actually issuing a kill order, the newspaper said.

The Journal said on Saturday it had reviewed excerpts of an intelligence file that was classified as "highly confidential", which cites electronic intercepts and other covert information between Prince Mohammed and his aide, Saud al-Qahtani. It's inner workings are opaque, though, so outside observers have to look for signals or past experiences to gauge how Crown Prince Mohammed is faring in the wake of Khashoggi's death. Even if U.S. lawmakers slap sanctions on the kingdom, the prince is likely to remain secure in his position as king-in-waiting.

It has also ruined Prince Mohammed's global public image.

The crown prince told his close circle last August that if they failed to bring back Khashoggi "we could lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements".

It said Prince Mohammed was "responsible for the death of a large number of children and civilians in Yemen" as well as that of Khashoggi.

The Saudi crown prince's visit to Algeria has drawn criticism from political and academic circles in the North African country. Saudi Arabia's acknowledgement that the journalist had been killed in a fight inside the consulate came after two weeks of denials and growing pressure from Western allies to provide explanations.

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