Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Algerian government confirms the visit of Saudi Crown Prince

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Andrew Cummings | 28 November, 2018, 05:44

"The crown prince's attendance at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires could make the Argentine courts an avenue of redress for victims of abuses unable to seek justice in Yemen or Saudi Arabia", said Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth.

At the presidential airport, he was received by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi and other senior officials.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is encountering something in Tunisia that he doesn't see often: public anger.

In Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the "unshakable strategic alliance between Egypt and Saudi Arabia" during the visit, the state daily Al-Ahram reported Tuesday.

The activist group's complaint also mentioned allegations that women's rights activists have been tortured by the Saudi government with electrocution and flogging, as well as the extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Tunisia and Saudi Arabia have very different political systems.

The Middle East and nuclear weapons is a combination that always draws media attention, just as it did earlier this year, when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS in an interview that "Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible".

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National security adviser John Bolton also said that the Group of 20 summit "is full to overflowing at this point", referring to meetings with the leaders of Germany, Japan, Argentina, India and South Korea.

Among his many titles, MBS is the defense minister of Saudi Arabia, which could sustain war crimes charges against him under Argentina's expansive laws.

Tunisia is one of the few Arab states where demonstrations are allowed, following a 2011 uprising that toppled veteran ruler Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and ushered in freedom of speech and the press.

Tunisia also has strong ties with Turkey, whose relations with Saudi Arabia have been strained by the Khashoggi killing.

"At the moment there is no reason not to meet with the crown prince", Cavusoglu said.

"A decision by Argentine officials to move toward investigation would be a strong signal that even powerful officials like Mohammed bin Salman are not beyond the reach of the law".

The Tunisian journalists' union and a collective of 50 lawyers have filed two legal complaints against the prince for alleged crimes against humanity in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Shiite rebels, and repression of freedom of expression.

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