Hearty handshake between Putin and Saudi crown prince goes viral

New footage shows a jovial Russian President Vladimir Putin high-fiving Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who most of the world has castigated after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a November 26 submission, Human Rights Watch asked the Argentine federal prosecutor to examine the crown prince's possible responsibility for torture of Saudi citizens in government custody - including Khashoggi who was murdered on October 2 - and violations of worldwide humanitarian law in Yemen. Trump received a great deal of backlash for his response to Khashoggi's brutal murder after refusing to condemn the Crown Prince's involvement.

Watch the tense exchange above.

Citing a French official, Reuters reports the pair discussed the Yemeni Civil War and killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi during a brief intermission in the high-stakes talks.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin attend the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, on 30 November 2018. "You never listen to me".

In the audio, it is possible to make out the prince saying "don't worry", to which Macron responds "I am worried".

Macron's office said the meeting with MbS [was] justified because European nations wanted to send a united message about the need for probity in the investigation and were not going to sidestep an opportunity to reinforce that message during the G20.

Mr Macron appeared stern with MBS who simply smiled and nodded his head while dismissing the French leader's concerns.

President Donald Trump, along with his daughter Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin greeted the Saudi crown prince at the G-20 summit on Friday.

The Crown Prince told Modi he would soon be finalizing an initial investment in India's National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports, highways and other projects.

Mohammad Bin Salman previously enjoyed warm greetings around the world for his reputation as a reformer in the kingdom, despite ongoing Saudi human rights abuses.

Khashoggi's killing has sparked widespread outrage but Western powers have pledged to maintain close relations with Saudi Arabia, a top oil producer and buyer of U.S. weapons.

  • Joey Payne