05 July 2019

 

Predictions

  • Western firms will face domestic pressure over Saudi ties, but international community will remain unwilling to downgrade relations with Riyadh
  • Global leaders will not heed UN rapporteur’s call to boycott next G20 summit, which will go ahead in Riyadh as planned
  • Lack of international pressure means Riyadh will not prosecute more prominent individuals suspected of involvement in Khashoggi killing

Analysis

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) attended the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on 28 June, holding a meeting with US President Trump on the sidelines of the event. Ahead of the summit, MbS travelled to Seoul over 26-27 June, during which time Riyadh signed MoUs and contracts worth USD 8.3 billion with South Korea. Meanwhile the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions called on world powers to exert greater pressure on Riyadh over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, including reconsidering allowing Saudi Arabia to host the next G20 summit. Separately, Riyadh raised EUR 3 billion in its first euro-denominated bond sale on 3 July.

The Crown Prince’s attendance at the G20 summit follows the publication last month of a UN report on Khashoggi’s killing that concluded there was “credible evidence” that high-level Saudi officials, including MbS, were involved in the murder (see our 21 June Report). This will have prompted the call by the UN rapporteur…

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