Saudi deputy crown prince meets UN chief, says ‘I’m not angry’


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday met Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince, who remarked that he was not angry with the UN chief for briefly blacklisting a Saudi-led coalition for killing children in Yemen.

Mohammed bin Salman is in New York this week, mainly for meetings with business leaders, after a visit to Washington and the US West Coast.

Earlier this month the Saudis threatened the United Nations with retaliation, including massive funding cuts for Palestinian aid and other programs, if it did not remove the Saudi-led Yemen coalition from a list of countries that maim and kill children during armed conflicts, UN officials said.

Ban then withdrew the Saudis from the list pending a review of cases the UN had analysed, though he publicly criticised the Saudi pressure on him.

On his way into the meeting, Salman was asked if he was still angry with Ban over the blacklisting.

“I’m not angry,” he said.

Salman, who is also the kingdom’s defence minister, did not answer questions when he left the meeting. It was not clear what was said, though one diplomatic source told Reuters without any detail that the meeting “went well.”

Salman kept Ban waiting for 45 minutes before arriving with his advisers and security detail. Also scheduled to attend the meeting was Leila Zerrougui, the UN special representative on children and armed conflict who originally decided to blacklist the Saudi-led coalition.