Saudi Crown Prince receives 'firm message' on Khashoggi probe at G20 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron was caught on a hot microphone lecturing Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 economic summit in Argentina Friday; telling the leader "You never listen to me".

And Trump's relationship with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince came under scrutiny this month after the Central Intelligence Agency announced it believed Mohammed bin Salman ordered the death of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In footage of the conversation, Bin Salman is heard telling Macron not to be anxious about the killing of Khashoggi, who died within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.

France also imposed sanctions, including travel bans, on 18 Saudi citizens linked to the murder.

As world leaders get down to business at the G20 in Buenos Aires, tensions over trade, security and climate change already threaten to leave it the third such multilateral meeting this year to fail to agree a joint communiqué, following in the footsteps of the G7 and APEC summits.

During the five-minute exchange, Salman is heard urging Macron not to worry, to which the French president promptly replied, "I am anxious".

U.S. President Donald Trump has made it clear that he doesn't want to jeopardize the longstanding relationship between Washington and Riyadh.

They also discussed the investment opportunities in the infrastructure through the Public Investment Fund and replacing Saudi Arabia's agricultural imports from other countries with Indian agricultural products.

"His [bin Salman's] visit to Argentina was supposed to help him rebuild his shattered reputation after the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi", the release said.

Further in the clip, which lasts one-minute and was posted on Twitter, Mr Macron rebukes the Saudi leader for not appreciating his advice.

At the end Mr Macron can be heard saying: "I am a man of my word".

In contrast, Mr Putin and the crown prince shared a smiley, enthusiastic greeting at the gathering.

Trump has had no discussion yet with the crown prince but would not rule one out.

An expected high-profile bilateral meeting between US President Donald Trump and Putin planned for Saturday was abruptly cancelled by Trump in a tweet citing Russia's seizure of Ukrainian vessels over the weekend.

  • Rogelio Becker