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Extraordinary ‘bromance’ moment between Putin and Saudi Prince at G20 captures all eyes – including Trump’s

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An extraordinary moment at the G20 summit has caught the world’s attention, and it didn’t even directly involve President Donald Trump — although he is seen in the background watching as well.

The image of Russian President Vladimir Putin greeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the summit in Argentina on Friday set Twitter ablaze as reaction poured in to the “bromance” between the controversial leaders.

 

Putin appeared with an ear-to-ear grin as he high-fived the Saudi leader before sitting for the opening session of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

According to Al Jazeera:

A lot of attention before the start of the G20 summit was on how world leaders would receive Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in light of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Perhaps the most enthusiastic embrace for the prince so far has come from Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who was filmed high-fiving the Saudi royal at the summit.

Putin has faced criticism for his own alleged campaign of targeted assassinations, which have targeted members of the Russian opposition and journalists critical of the Kremlin.

 

The two leaders sat next to each other during the meeting, sharing more smiles and laughter and leading some to speculate there was more going on.

Earlier, bin Salman had a close encounter with French President Emmanuel Macron who was overheard saying “you never listen to me” in a video captured during a break in the summit.

“You never listen to me,” Macron said in English during a private conversation that was posted by the Saudi Gazette newspaper.

“No I will listen of course,” bin Salman replied in English as well.

The French president, who later could be heard saying, “I am a man of my word,” looked bin Salman in the eye several tines as the men were reportedly talking about the murder of Khashoggi and the situation in Yemen.

The video showed “a sort of contrast between MbS’s face sporting an embarrassed smile and the (French) president’s face, which was rather stern, and was keen to convey these messages in a very firm manner,” a French official told Reuters.

Frieda Powers

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