Leaders from across the globe are gathering in Argentina for the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, and none seemed more excited to be there than Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, sharing what Politico dubbed a “bro-y” embrace.
The leaders engaged in an enthusiastic high-five as they greeted each other with huge grins on Friday afternoon before sitting down next to each other. The friendly embrace was reportedly during a working lunch at the summit, and other leaders such as South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump can be seen shuffling into a meeting room in the background of a video that has surfaced of the leaders’ hearty handshake.
The interaction comes as world leaders prepare to “zero in” on the crown prince for his alleged involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was employed by the Washington Post. Argentinian President Mauricio Macri made it very clear that Khashoggi’s death and the involvement by the crown prince were “on the table for discussion” at the summit.
British Prime Minister Theresa May plans on being one to bring up the crime, as noted by the Guardian, saying she wants a “full and transparent investigation.”
“I am intending to speak with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. The message that I give will be very clear…on this issue of Jamal Khashoggi but also on the issue of Yemen,” she told reporters.
Putin bro-fives MBS pic.twitter.com/5ojFO9m5aC
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) November 30, 2018
While a number of leaders have condemned bin Salman and Saudi Arabia for the crime, Putin, Business Insider noted, has refused to publicly place blame on the crown prince.
“We do not know what happened in reality. So why should we undertake any steps to deteriorate our relations with Saudi Arabia?” he reportedly said last month, instead turning the blame on to the United States.
“As far as I know the journalist who went missing used to live in the U.S.A…In this regard, the U.S. has a certain responsibility.”
President Trump has expressed a similar attitude to Putin’s in terms of placing blame on Mohammed bin Salman.
President Trump declared his administration will remain a "steadfast partner" of Saudi Arabia, despite the CIA's assessment that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman personally approved the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.https://t.co/i389nHiIPF
— NPR (@NPR) November 20, 2018
Despite the CIA finding evidence that the crown prince was directly responsible for ordering Khashoggi’s murder, the Inquisitr previously reported that Trump apparently thought otherwise of the investigation’s findings, saying that they “did not come to a conclusion.”
“Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place,” he said, avoiding placing the blame on Saudi Arabia.
Trump told reporters on Thursday that he did not intend to have the time to meet with bin Salman during the summit, and later tweeted that he canceled a previously planned meeting with Putin, though it is not clear as to whether or not the plan to meet with either leader has changed.