G20 Argentina: Saudi prince's international standing revealed
INHR / Office of the European Editor
By James LandaleDiplomatic correspondent
For Mohammed bin Salman, the G20 summit was always going to be a test. This was the first time the Saudi Crown Prince had appeared on the international stage since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
And there have been widespread accusations that the killing of the Saudi journalist was ordered at the highest levels of the Saudi government.So the summit in Buenos Aires was a chance to assess the scale of the international isolation the Saudi prince was or was not facing.The first signs came at the family photo, the ritualistic assembly of the leaders for a photograph to mark the summit. The mingling, the handshakes, the body language can reveal what many a bland press statement cannot.
MBS - as the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia is known by his acronym - was at the far end of the line rather by himself. He is the only Arab leader in the G20 and already stood out in his traditional dress amid a sea of suits. And at times he looked uncertain, even nervous. Some of his counterparts shared a word or two but few went out of their way to shake his hand.