BUENOS AIRES – French President Emmanuel Macron said he will have a talk with Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting in Argentina and reiterated his call for a full probe of the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom.
“I have always been very clear about the Saudi Arabia case — and I will surely have the occasion to discuss this with the Crown Prince on the sidelines of the … ,” Macron said during a joint press conference with his Argentinian counterpart, Mauricio Macri, in Buenos Aires. “The death of Mr. Khashoggi is a serious matter on which I want the entire truth to be made,” he said.
The crown prince’s appearance at G-20 comes amid an outcry over Khashoggi’s killing and the summit will gauge how willing world leaders are to be associated with him following Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month. Canada joined the U.S. on Thursday in sanctioning Saudi officials, including the crown prince, in connection with the murder.
Heads of state from the world’s 20 largest economies may discuss the killing of Saudi Arabian critic Khashoggi at the meeting starting Friday, Macri said. The French president said he will discuss the case with his European partners in a side “coordination” meeting ahead of the start of the G20 tomorrow in Buenos Aires and he called for an “international process” to follow up on the probe.
Macron also said he has no planned meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump during the summit, but he hinted they might have occasion for talks on the sidelines. The men had a bilateral lunch and meeting in Paris on Nov. 10. Upon arrival in South America he cast blame on Trump’s policies for hurting allies in Europe, saying “recent decisions have been done to the detriment of its allies.”
Tensions have been on show between Macron and Trump in recent months. They traded barbs on social media and in interviews this month about Macron’s call for a European army. Macron said Thursday they had a “continuous dialogue” in person or by phone, including on topics of disagreement like climate and trade.