The democracies in the G20 took a strong stance against the blatant murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the orders of Saudi prince Mohammad Ben Salman by refusing to guffaw at his bad jokes with some leaders even daring to look mildly bored when he spoke.
Emmanuel Macron was the first leader to signal to the Saudi Prince that the casual murder of journalists was unacceptable when he shook Ben Salman’s hand and put on a slight frown before saying he was worried.
Theresa May also urged the Saudi crown prince to thoroughly investigate the murder he had ordered. Although the FCO would not confirm this, it is widely believed the PM threatened to remove the ‘friends and family’ discount on the next shipment of BAE weapons the Saudi government is using to slaughter Yemeni civilians.
International Affairs correspondent for The Times, Simon Williams, said that the G20’s response towards Saudi Araba might seem weak and pathetic to the layman but was actually a huge break from protocol.
He explained, “You have to remember that the Saudis are extremely rich and can set a politician up for a life of luxury with a bullshit post-retirement consultancy job after they do them enough favours. So the Saudis are used to getting praised when they consider letting women drive. This is actually quite a strong reaction.”
Donald Trump, however, was not able to take the Saudi Prince to task, as a misunderstanding over a hand gesture by the Argentinian president led him to walk off into the hotel grounds for over an hour before admitting he was lost and tired.