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Donald Trump praises Mohammed Bin Salman at G20 in Osaka, agrees to intensify fight against terror

News Agencies | Updated on: 29 June 2019, 10:21 IST

United States President Donald Trump met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on the last day of the ongoing G20 summit here on Saturday and agreed to intensify the fight against terrorism.

During their brief meeting, Trump referred to the Saudi Prince as "a friend of mine," and said that MBS, who has been blamed for the assassination of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi has done "really a spectacular job" and that it's a "great honour" to meet with him.

"This friend of mine has really done things in the last five years in terms of opening up Saudi Arabia, especially women empowerment. I am seeing a revolution happening in a very positive way," Trump said.

"We had some meetings on trade, economic development, and the military and they have been really terrific. As you know Saudi is a big purchaser of America," the President told the media.

"For a long time, there was a question of whether or not Saudi Arabia and other countries were sponsoring terrorism. And I know not only you but also your father, the King, put in a tremendous effort to seize the money going to the groups that were not liked by us. And I really appreciate that" he added.

"The whole world is grateful for your efforts in the fight against terrorism," Prince Salman stated in turn, while Trump emphasised that Riyadh remains a vital partner in fighting "terrorism," which Washington believes is raging in the region all because of Iran.

"In the last five years we have achieved a great deal on the economic, military and political side and we will continue that together for the job creations in both countries," the Prince added.

However, Trump did not mention about the Khashoggi murder case during his meeting with the Saudi Prince.

The United Nations has called for an international investigation into the alleged killing, adding that the Saudi probe into the matter has failed to examine who may have ordered it. But, Saudi officials have denied that the crown prince had any involvement in the killing.

The Trump administration has come under fire from the US Congress over its handling of the country's relationship with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the murder of Khashoggi, as well as in the face of the mounting death toll in the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Trump, after completing his engagements with world leaders at the summit, as he headed for a visit to South Korea.

Trump said he is willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, even if just to "say hello."

"After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon). While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!" the President wrote on Twitter.

The White House is yet to disclose Trump's specific plans in South Korea.

-ANI

First published: 29 June 2019, 9:46 IST
 
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