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“We Do not Want Him Here”: Saudi Arabian Prince is a Protected Pariah at the G20 Summit

Anthony Faiola Correspondent covering Latin America, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Human Rights, Poverty, Globalization and Economy December 1 at 12:48 BUENOS…

The protests legions demonstrate on one The Summit Summit has here become a sea of ​​standard signposts, ranging from “No to Imperialism” to “Yankees Go Home.” But a newer rally crew also performed on a smattering of homemade posters.

“Mohammed bin Salman, Assassin!”

For Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – widely known by his initials, the MBS Group’s 20th Leader Summit in Buenos Aires has been a key test: his first appearance at a major international event since the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi one frequent critic of the real leaders of the realm.

“The CIA believes he is the one who ordered the death of Khashoggi,” said Cristian Pirovano, a 40-year-old Buenos Aires teacher, referring to US intelligence that the Crown Prince almost orchestrated the killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post Contributor columnist at his country’s consulate in Turkey.

“We do not want him here because of the murder of the journalist because of what the Saudi people do in Yemen because of all this death,” said Pirovano.

Muhammad came to the summit a pariah to some leaders – he was placed the longest behind the line in the annual “family photo” with the participation of leaders Saturday and leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel had made it known before the summit that they would not see Mohammed in Argentina. The Crown Prince also held up in the fortified Saudi embassy away from the rest of it Saudi Arabian delegation after his arrival here, among the movements of Argentine prosecutors, to investigate human rights complaints against him.

Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is waiting for family pictures during the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires on Friday. (Andres Martinez Casares / Reuters )

But Mohammed was also confident that President Trump had already said that the Crown Prince’s duty would not violate the United States relationship with Riyadh.

The guarantee helped convince Mohammed that he could make the trip on his behalf, which is Slated to host the same G20 collection in 2020. And Mohammed has found comfort in some parts here – a high five from one sparkling Russian President Vladimir Putin and a short but symbolic television exchange with Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump and finance minister Steven Mnuchin. The White House said that Trump just “exchanged nice”.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also photographed smiling next to Mohammed at his private meeting Friday and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has defended his plans to meet the young Saudi people too.

But the man who once tried to fashion himself as the younger, fresher face of Saudi leadership has also come to feel regarded as contaminated, turning into a global symbol of brutal tyranny. In what was supposed to be a triumphant display of his consolidation of power at home, Mohammed has instead been detained by legal attempts to prosecute him in Argentina for foreign crimes, appointed by protesters and bitten by European leaders.

“His reputation has obviously been seriously injured,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Managing Director of the Human Rights Watch Americas Division. “I believe he was convinced he could go on water and not pay any costs at all. But this case will follow him every time he leaves Saudi Arabia, probably the rest of his life. “

Mohammed has not necessarily been persona without grata. At a press conference on Thursday, Argentine President Mauricio Macri motivated the Prince’s presence at the summit.

” Saudi Arabia is a member of the G20 so the prince must come, “said Macri, who continued to meeting with Mohammed on Saturday. His role in killing Khashoggi, Macri said at the press conference, is a topic that “has influenced the world and can be discussed in bilateral or general meetings. But he is part of this community and is now in the country to attend tomorrow. “

But he has also been busy. In a conversation with the Crown Prince on Friday, France’s Emmanuel Macron demanded that international investigators join the Khashoggi killings and stressed the” necessity of a political solution “for the Saudi Arabian war in Yemen.

“The Khashoggi case is serious and I think the truth needs to search. I want surveys in Turkey and Saudi Arabia to continue clarifying the situation of the family and the international community, “Macron said on Friday.

Also on Friday there was an apparent private and heated conversation between Macron and Mohammed on the microphone.” I worry me. I am worried. I told you, Macron told him.

“Yes, you said to me, thank you very much,” says the prince.

“You never listen to me,” Macron replies.

During her -on-one with Mohammed, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa may refuse to discuss important economic issues, such as bilateral trade. Instead, May, a government spokesman, said he accepted the Khassoggi assassination and said that Saudi Arabia needed “take steps to build confidence that such a regrettable event could not happen again”, according to Guardian.

A spokesman for the Saudi Arabia delegation declined to comment.

The rebellion of Khashoggia hung over the Crown Prince’s trip to Buenos Aires since the beginning.

The 747, carrying Mohammad and a 400th Saudi delegation landed in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, with cameras capturing the crown prince descending a staircase, shining in floating robes. Argentina’s newspaper La Nacion reported that the Saudi people had booked room for the delegation at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires – but the plans of the Crown Prince suddenly seemed to change.

Human Rights Watch on Monday filed a complaint with Argentine prosecutors and asked them to investigate Mohamed’s alleged responsibility for torture of Saudi citizens, cruelties in Yemen and the Khashoggi assassination. Universal jurisdiction applies in Argentina, allowing crimes committed by foreign nationals.

On Wednesday – the day the prince landed – a federal prosecutor had begun to make inquiries and forward the case to a investigative judge.

Instead of retiring to the four seasons, Mohammed – Stalkad of Argentine Television Cameras – stayed at the Saudi embassy, ​​which apparently did not leave until the official started summit on Friday morning.

Argentinian officials say their diplomatic immunity plus the length required for any investigation, all have ruled out immediate action against Mohammed during the summit. But his obvious caution suggested worry, and his future travel plans could be harmed by similar legal maneuvers.

“You can be sure that other issues will be submitted when Mohammed travels,” said Vivanco. “Wherever he goes, he will be under review.”

Silvina Frydelweski contributed to this report.

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