TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s planned meeting with Abdelaziz Bouteflika was canceled on Monday because the Algerian president is sick.
Bouteflika’s office said in a statement that the ailing 81-year-old was confined to bed with an “acute flu” as the Saudi prince arrived for his two-day trip to Algeria, AP reported.
The crown prince attended the Group of 20 summit and has been visiting Arab nations over the past week on his first international tour since Saudi agents killed Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2.
US intelligence assessments and experts have said the crown prince, who controls all levers of power in Saudi Arabia, ordered or at least knew about the killing.
The crown prince was met with protests in Tunisia, but has been received by government officials in the region.
Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia greeted the prince on the tarmac late Sunday and held talks with him on Monday in Bouteflika’s absence.
Meanwhile, Algeria’s largest Islamic party, the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP), criticized Ouyahia for welcoming bin Salman, saying, “Those who roll out the red carpet for bin Salman do not care about Algeria.”
In another development on Monday, sources told the Al Jazeera media network that bin Salman’s visit to Jordan had been postponed by at least two days, without elaborating on the reason behind the delay.
The crown prince had been expected to arrive in Amman on Monday.