Mohammed bin Salman

Emmanuel Macron says he will discuss murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with bin Salman on sidelines of G20 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of G20 summit in Argentina.

Macron said that he would discuss the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with bin Salman during their meeting.

French president’s remarks came at a joint news meeting with his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires, where the summit will begin on Friday.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post, was killed shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After weeks of saying he had left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration later admitted he was killed there, blaming his death on a group of rogue Saudi operatives.

Last week, France imposed a travel ban on 18 Saudi citizens over their suspected involvement in the killing of Khashoggi.

The U.S. government imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials earlier this month, alleging a 15-man execution team went to Turkey to carry out the killing.

Turkey has called for the extradition of the killers for trial in Turkey where the crime took place.

The crown prince is in Argentina for the G20 Summit with Turkish, American and Canadian officials also in attendance.

He was met with protests in Buenos Aires and the summit is expected to create tensions between the prince and Western leaders.

Mohammed bin Salman sought to acquire Israeli eavesdropping tech before he was crown prince, newspaper claims

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman indirectly approached former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2015 with a view to purchasing Israeli eavesdropping cybertechnology, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Wednesday.

According to the newspaper, an individual who said he represented bin Salman (who was serving as Saudi deputy crown prince at the time) phoned Barak (who had served as Israeli PM from 1999 to 2001), saying he wanted Barak’s help in acquiring Israeli cybertechnology that would allow the Saudi regime to eavesdrop on telephone conversations.

In a recording of the 2015 conversation reportedly obtained by Haaretz, the caller, the newspaper says, “offered Barak a role in a company he had established, while also mentioning several Israeli firms whose technology interested the Saudis”.

In a statement, Barak, who at different times has also served as Israel’s foreign minister and defense minister, claimed that he “rebuffed the offer made in the phone call, which had originated from the United Arab Emirates”.

According to Haaretz, the caller also told Barak about an “interesting business opportunity” and went on to mention a meeting in Dubai that had taken place several weeks earlier with Saudi officials.

The caller also reportedly said he enjoyed the trust “of the two men in line behind the king” — an apparent reference to bin Salman and his brother, Khalid.

In his statement, Barak asserted that he had “never dealt in weapons, military systems or defense systems at any stage of his business activities”.

Even though the proposed deal does not appear to have ever materialized, Saudi officials have nevertheless continued to show an interest in Israeli cybertechnology.

Last year, Haaretz reported that Saudi officials had held talks with Israel’s NSO Group Technologies, whose development headquarters are located in the Israeli city of Herzliya.

Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed to meet during G20

A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is scheduled during this weekend’s G20 summit in Argentina, said Russia’s presidential spokesman on Wednesday.

Presidential aide Yury Ushakov will brief journalists about the agenda of the meeting and other details tomorrow, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists in Moscow.

The statement comes as the global spotlight is on bin Salman and his possible role in last month’s killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Commenting on the possible cancellation of Putin’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Peskov said the Kremlin has not received any notice about this.

“The preparation continues, the meeting was agreed to. We do not have any other information from our American counterparts,” Peskov said.

He also mentioned how the White House spokesperson yesterday confirmed the meeting on Trump’s G20 schedule.

But hours later Trump himself told The Washington Post the meeting could be cancelled due to Sunday’s Russian-Ukrainian confrontation in a strait near Crimea, which ended with casualties and Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell says US will give ‘some kind of response’ for role of Saudis in killing of journalist

U.S.’s Senate majority leader on Tuesday said “some kind of response” should be given for the role of Saudis in the “abhorrent” killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Seen as a top ally for the U.S. President Donald Trump in Congress, Mitch McConnell told reporters: “What obviously happened, as basically certified by the CIA, is completely abhorrent to everything the United States holds dear and stands for.”

“We’re discussing what the appropriate response would be,” he added.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, Saudi Arabia admitted weeks later that he was killed there.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is under fire for his alleged role in the murder.

“No one believes we should completely and totally fracture our relationship with the Saudis,” said McConnell.

“But, yes, some kind of response is going to be appropriate and we’re going to continue to talk about that,” he added.