Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Erdogan, Trump meet on G20 sidelines in Argentina

Erdogan, Trump meet on G20 sidelines in Argentina

Saudi Arabia has said the prince, the kingdom's de facto ruler, had no prior knowledge of the murder.

The closed-door meeting between two leaders, which lasted 50 minutes, was held on the sidelines of the G20 Leader's Summit in the capital Buenos Aires.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed on Saturday that the United States would continue supporting Saudi Arabia's military campaign in Yemen, despite rising outrage over the kingdom.

In a nod to growing criticism at home on Saudi Arabia, Trump only exchanged "pleasantries" with the crown prince, according to the White House.

But, while leaders appeared to ignore Prince Mohammed on stage during the "family photo", many went on to have closed-door bilateral meetings with him during the two-day summit. "There is no direct reporting connecting the crown prince to the order to murder Jamal Khashoggi", Al Jazeera quoted Pompeo as saying.

"We have no intention to damage the Saudi royal family or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but revealing the truth about the murder with all its aspects and putting all whose responsible on a trial would benefit the Saudi Arabia as well", he said.

The Trump administration faces tremendous domestic and global pressure to review its relationship with Saudi Arabia after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate Istanbul in October this year.

The Trump administration's reluctance to acknowledge reports from the justice community stands in contrast to calls for a USA response from lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who demanded action for Khashoggi's death, which he called "completely abhorrent to everything the United States holds dear and stands for".

"We have never seen this as a political issue", Erdogan said.

"To me, we've got a relationship with a country that's a semi-important country and a semi-important ally".

He shows up in another portion of the CIA's assessment: an alleged member of the Saudi hit team that U.S. and Turkish officials said Qahtani oversaw, Maher Mutreb, called Qahtani from inside the consulate to inform him Khashoggi was dead, The Washington Post has previously reported.

The Journal reported that Central Intelligence Agency analysis of the communication "seems to foreshadow the Saudi operation launched against Khashoggi".

Friends of Khashoggi's have said that Qahtani called the journalist and raised the potential of his working for the crown prince if he would end his self-imposed exile in Virginia and return to his native country.

Earlier this month, the United States imposed its own sanctions on Saudi officials for the same reason.

Mrs May shook hands with the Saudi prince, who was also berated by French president Emmanuel Macron in a terse conversation captured on video.

But Trudeau said his biggest concern was the situation in Yemen, where a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the midst of a long, destructive war between a Saudi-led coalition supporting the Yemeni government and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

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