November 29, 2018 / 5:30 PM / 11 days ago

Accusations against Saudi crown prince could be discussed at G20: Argentina's Macri

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on Thursday that accusations against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman relating to war crimes and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi may be discussed during the G20 summit, which starts on Friday.

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri attends a news conference with France's President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured) after a meeting ahead of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

“Regarding the crown prince, who is attending this summit, Saudi Arabia is a permanent member of the G20. And, as such, he is attending. This issue, which has impacted the world, is on the table and it may come out in bilateral meetings or not, or in the G20 agenda,” Macri said.

Macri was speaking at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he will have the opportunity to discuss the accusations with the Saudi crown prince when they meet during the summit.

Macron said the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was “very serious”.

“I believe and I hope that the investigations, both in Turkey and in Saudi Arabia, will continue to clarify the situation, both for the relatives of Mr. Khashoggi and for the international community,” Macron said.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) asked Argentina on Monday to use a war crimes clause in its constitution to investigate any involvement by the crown prince in possible crimes against humanity in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has launched a military campaign.

The rights group also asked Argentina to investigate the Saudi crown prince in connection with Khashoggi’s murder six weeks ago, which has sparked international furor.

A representative from the federal prosecutor’s office assigned to review the case told Reuters on Thursday there were no updates on whether Argentina would formally investigate the HRW complaints.

An Argentine federal judge asked the foreign ministry on Wednesday to seek information from Turkey, Yemen and the International Criminal Court in connection with the accusations.

The Saudi crown prince arrived in Buenos Aires on Wednesday for the two-day G20 summit, which begins Friday.

Reporting by Eliana Raszewski and Cassandra Garrison in Buenos Aires, John Irish and Michel Rose in Paris; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Bernadette Baum

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