Macron First Western Leader to Meet Saudi Prince Since Khashoggi Killing

French president says international community should be associated in the affair because 'the whole world is concerned'

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attend a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, April 10, 2018.
Yoan Valat/Pool via Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of a G-20 meeting in Argentina in what would be a first meeting with a Western leader since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

"I've always been very clear about the issue of Saudi Arabia and I will inevitably have the opportunity to discuss it with the Saudi crown prince on the sidelines of the G-20," Macron told a news conference with his Argentine counterpart. 

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France said last week it had imposed sanctions, including travel bans, on 18 Saudi citizens linked to the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi and said more could follow depending on results of an investigation. 

Macron said that European G-20 participants will coordinate on the issue together on Friday morning. 

"Personally, I'm in favor of transparency and associating the international community in this affair, because the whole world is concerned," he said. 

It was unclear whether he was calling for an international investigation beyond existing Turkish and Saudi probes. 

During the two-day summit, global leaders are expected to discuss a variety of issues including the global economy, the future of labor markets and gender equality issues.

U.S. President Donald Trump is also expected to meet with the crown prince. The president has defended U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia, although sources say the CIA believes the crown prince ordered the journalist's murder.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may also meet Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the first time.