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The Spanish king emeritus, Juan Carlos I, was photographed last weekend with the crown prince of Saudi ArabiaMohammed bin Salman. That image sparked a wave of criticism against the monarch as the crown prince has been linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

But the photograph was neither a coincidence, nor did it show a fleeting moment, according to the newspaper Voxpopuli, as prince Mohammed was at the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 circuit for work. Both royals knew they would meet at the circuit and the crown prince took the opportunity to be seen with a senior Western figure.

According to the online paper, prince Mohammed was in Abu Dhabi to kick off a series of official visits to Arab states before heading to Argentina for the G20 summit. At the track, after the photo, he met in private with the former Spanish king for 10 minutes. It's unknown what was discussed.

The Saudi monarchy has said that one of the objectives for the prince's tour is to give a message of calm after the crisis sparked by Khashoggi's murder.

Spain is one of the countries that, unlike Germany, decided to continue selling arms to Saudi Arabia after the journalist's death to not damage its defence industry or endanger jobs.

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