Both have been accused of murder, and they met at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this week. Crown Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin high-fived at a meeting of world leaders on Friday. The pair also shared an apparent joke. Many on social media have responded with disgust.
While other world leaders shunned the Saudi Crown Prince due to recent CIA revelations that he ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a smiling Putin – who has been under fire for recent issues with Ukraine – was obviously happy to greet the heir to the throne. Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to punish the Crown Prince, and President Macron of France was heard warning the royal at the G20 after the Crown Prince told him not to worry. They were discussing the murder of Khashoggi and the Yemen War.
President Macron told His Royal Highness, “You never listen to me,” to which the heir responded, “I will listen, of course.”
Macron then remarked, “I am a man of my word.”
When the “family photo” of the world’s leaders was taken, Crown Prince Mohammed was sidelined and ignored – a direct result of the controversy surrounding the murder of the journalist. He was put on the far edge of the photo and his attendance as a whole has been contentious.
A recent CIA assessment revealed by the Wall Street Journal found that Crown Prince Mohammed sent at least 11 messages to his closest adviser in the hours leading up to and following the death of Khashoggi in Turkey. This adviser was the one who oversaw the murder in the Saudia Arabian consulate in Istanbul.
A recent report out of Morocco also claimed the King of Morocco refused to receive the Saudi heir in Rabat during the latter’s Middle Eastern tour. As a result, the Crown Prince refused to make the trip to Morocco.
Khashoggi was critical of the Saudi government run by King Salman – the Crown Prince’s father – as Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy.