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Trump calls Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman a "friend of mine"

Trump calls Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman a

The comments came despite a recent United Nations expert report that judged it "inconceivable" Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was unaware of the operation that assassinated Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Trump did not respond to repeated questions from reporters about the killing of Khashoggi.

Images from the summit showed Trump shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries with the crown prince, commonly referred to as MBS.

But when reporters asked whether Trump would address the death of Khashoggi, who was killed past year in a plot US intelligence agencies said was directed by the Saudi royal family, Trump attempted to end the questioning.

Mr. Trump on Saturday praised bin Salman for doing a "speculator job" and said they've had meetings on "trade, and economic development and on the military".

Trump also highlighted the significant business dealings between the two countries and the impact on U.S. jobs, "at least a million jobs are created by purchases made by Saudi Arabia", he said.

On the first day of the G20 summit, Bin Salman and Trump, began a joint effort to rally other G20 members against Iran.

Trump also talked about his invitation to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet him on Sunday at the Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea.

Trump has been criticized for not confronting the Saudis over Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey last fall. Some lawmakers have called on Trump to disavow Saudi leadership since Khashoggi's death past year.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, lived outside the country in self-imposed exile since 2017 after angering the royal family over critical columns he wrote. He went to the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2 to get some routine documents he needed to marry his fiancee and never emerged.

Trump's plan to boost defence sales to the kingdom has hit obstacles in Congress, where Democrats and some Republicans are unhappy with Saudi Arabia's track record on human rights.



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