MNA – Buenos Aires hosted the 2018 G20 summit on Friday while the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi national journalist who was horrifically murdered in the Saudi embassy in Turkey, was expected to have an impact on the assembly.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, MBS, who is in the eye of a storm over alleged role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, also participated in the summit as the head of the Saudi delegation.
French President Emanuel Macron saw the presence of MBS an opportunity to discuss the issue of Khashoggi’s case.
The US and German leaders announced that they were not planning a meeting with MBS during the summit.
The participation of MBS in the 2018 G20 summit is his first presence in the international community outside of Saudi Arabia after the murder of Khashoggi in October. MBS faces hard criticism from the international community particularly the United Nations human rights watchdog on his role in the Yemen War and murder of Khashoggi.
Based on reports, only five world leaders met with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia including the president of Argentina, the host county.
French President Macron was the first European president to announce that he would meet with MBS and Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first to confirm his meeting with the Saudi crown prince through his adviser Yuri Viktorovich Ushakov.
British Prime Minister Theresa May also announced to sit with MBS over Khashoggi’s case and the war in Yemen. She also said that London seeks a thorough and transparent investigation into the murder of Khashoggi.
The meetings were held while Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, had already warned the heads of the G20 of meeting with bin Salman, saying in a statement, “World leaders would do well to think twice before posing for pictures next to someone who may come under investigation for war crimes and torture.”
Mohammad bin Salman met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The meeting primarily focused on cooperation between the two countries in the areas of political, security, economic and energy investment. Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia is ready to meet the oil and petrochemical demand of India, so is the Saudi’s giant oil company Aramco to invest in large refinery projects in India. The two leaders also agreed on investing in solar energy.
James Dorsey, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, has called that the G20 summit the final trial for the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, protesters held rallies before the Argentinean embassy in Washington, calling for the arrest of Mohammed bin Salman for initiating the war in Yemen.
Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina before the meeting, had announced the impact of the Khashoggi’s case on the bilateral meetings in the G-20 summit.
Bin Salman a hated figure whose residence resembles a military garrison
Undoubtedly, bin Salman, who has the blood of Yemenis, Khashoggi and innocent people on his hands, was an unlikeable person in Buenos Aires from the media and public perspective.
Although MBS has diplomatic impunity, the widespread protests won’t leave him alone be it in a hotel or the Saudi ambassador’s residence in Argentina that turned into a military garrison for the arrival of MBS in Argentina.
According to Aljazeera, in addition to his many security forces, four heavy armored vehicles were escorting bin Salman in Buenos Aires.
In any event, MBS is facing difficult times ahead for Khashoggi’s murder. In other words, he is trying to overcome the storm that he was exposed for his involvement in the murder of the Khashoggi.