French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday reportedly confronted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the ongoing Yemen war at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A French official said the two leaders discussed Khashoggi’s murder during a five-minute exchange that took place on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, where they also talked about the need to find a solution to the situation in Yemen, Reuters reported.
In a video of the encounter shared by The Saudi Gazette newspaper, Macron can be seen standing inches away from the crown prince, who appears acquiescent, and the French president speaks with his hands while the crown prince nods and smiles.
Salman is heard saying “Don’t worry,” to which the French president responds: “I am worried”.
“I told you, I told you,” Macron is heard saying. “Yes, you told me, thank you very much,” replied Mohammad bin Salman, who is smiling in the video.
— Saudi Gazette (@Saudi_Gazette) November 30, 2018
The crown prince then tells Macron that “we will meet you.”
Later in the one-minute clip posted on Twitter, Macron is heard saying: “You never listen to me,” and Prince Mohammed replies: “I will listen, of course.”
At the end of the video, Macron says: “I am a man of my word.”
Macron had previously suggested that he planned to confront the Saudi leader about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in early October.
The Saudi government recently admitted that its officials were responsible for the murder of Khashoggi, who was a U.S. resident and a columnist for The Washington Post. Saudi Arabia claims that the crown prince was not responsible for the murder. At least five Saudi officials have been handed the death penalty over the murder.
U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded that the crown prince was responsible for ordering the murder.
#France’s @EmmanuelMacron went to talk to #SaudiArabia Crown Prince #MBS at start of #G20. Topics: oil prices, #Yemen, #Khashoggi. UK & Italy sought to have full bilats with the Kingdom Prince in turmoil. pic.twitter.com/j8tARdmZN5
— Helene Fouquet (@HeleneFouquet) November 30, 2018
President Donald Trump has continued to cast doubt on Salman’s responsibility for the murder.
In a presidential statement released November 20, Trump sided with the Saudi leader despite the conclusions of the American intelligence community.
Trump, proclaimed “America First!” and said, “The world is a very dangerous place!”
“After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States,” Trump wrote.
“Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!,” writes Trump. “That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran.”
In the wake of Trump’s statement, former CIA director John O. Brennan called on Congress to “obtain & declassify” the CIA findings on Khashoggi’s death, and said the president “excels in dishonesty.”
“Since Mr. Trump excels in dishonesty, it is now up to members of Congress to obtain & declassify the CIA findings on Jamal Khashoggi’s death,” Brennan tweeted. “No one in Saudi Arabia—most especially the Crown Prince—should escape accountability for such a heinous act.”