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ARGENTINA | 28-11-2018 10:19

Saudi crown prince arrives in Buenos Aires for G20

Mohammed bin Salman, accused of ordering the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, received by Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Buenos Aires on Wednesday ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit, local media reported this morning, as the Saudi leader aims to shrug off the lingering stigma of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

The prince was received at the airport by Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie, according to local press reports.

The Saudi foreign ministry tweeted video footage of the crown prince getting off a plane in Buenos Aires.

"Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives to Argentina to head the delegation participating in the G20 summit," said a royal court statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Officials said the prince could meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the summit. That would be the first meeting of the two since Khashoggi's brutal killing at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

"There could be" a meeting, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin confirmed. 

Argentine prosecutors meanwhile are  due to decide whether to launch an investigation into him over the journalist's murder and possible war crimes in Yemen.

On Monday Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, an international rights group, asked Argentina to open the probe.

"A decision by Argentine officials to move toward investigation would be a strong signal that even powerful officials like Mohammed bin Salman are not beyond the reach of the law," Roth said in a statement. "And Mohammed bin Salman should know that he may face a criminal probe if he ventures to Argentina."

Saudi Arabia has faced sharp international criticism over the murder of Washington Post contributor Khashoggi.

The journalist was killed and dismembered in what Saudi Arabia said was a "rogue" operation – though CIA analysis leaked to the US media appeared to implicate Prince Mohammed. 

- TIMES/AFP

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