Trump calls Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman a "friend of mine"

Trump calls Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman a

Trump calls Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman a "friend of mine"

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held bilateral talks with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman and discussed deepening cooperation in trade and investment, energy security and counter-terrorism with the "invaluable strategic partner" in Osaka.

Trump's plan to boost defence sales to the kingdom has hit obstacles in Congress, where Democrats and some fellow Republicans are not happy about human rights abuses, including the murder a year ago of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mr. Trump called bin Salman "a man who has really done things in the last 5 years in terms of opening of Saudi Arabia". An independent United Nations human rights expert investigating Khashoggi's death said earlier this month there is "credible evidence" linking bin Salman's to the murder. But when reporters asked whether Trump would address the death of Khashoggi, who was killed a year ago in a plot USA intelligence agencies said was directed by the Saudi royal family, Trump attempted to end the questioning.

"We have had meetings on trade and economic development and on the military, of course and the meetings have been really terrific". "We are trying to do the best for our country", and we need to do more.

"Thank you, everybody", he said.

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In a statement, the White House said the two leaders discussed a variety of issues, including oil markets, Saudi Arabia's role in ensuring stability in the Middle East and Iran, the Hill reported.

It came shortly after an evening photocall at which the US President shared a joke with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Bin Salman (bottom right).

The meeting with bin Salman comes amid escalating tensions between the USA and Iran.

Prince Mohammed had also invited Mr Modi to be a guest at an global conference later this year and the prime minister had accepted, Mr Gokhale said.

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