November 29, 2018 / 5:22 PM / 20 days ago

France's Macron says to meet Saudi crown prince on sidelines of G20

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron arrive at Ministro Pistarini International Airport for the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Martin Acosta

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of a G20 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 G20,” Macron told a news conference with his Argentine counterpart.

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 G20 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.

Reporting by Michel Rose and John Irish

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