Saudi crown prince snubbed in Al­ge­ria, de­lays Jor­dan visit amid Khashoggi cri­sis

Tehran Times - - WORLD IN FOCUS -

The House of Saud regime’s Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man (MBS) has re­port­edly post­poned a planned visit to Jor­dan af­ter get­ting the cold shoul­der in Al­ge­ria, where Pres­i­dent Ab­de­laziz Boute­flika scrapped a meet­ing with him, cit­ing flu.

Bin Sal­man, who has been strug­gling over the past weeks to dis­tance him­self from a scan­dal over the grue­some mur­der of dis­si­dent Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, ar­rived in Al­ge­ria late on Sun­day for a two-day visit fol­low­ing a stop in Mau­ri­ta­nia.

The trip is part of a tour of Arab states that the Saudi regime crown prince has re­sumed af­ter at­tend­ing the G20 sum­mit in Ar­gentina on the week­end. He trav­eled to the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt and Tu­nisia be­fore the event.

Bin Sal­man’s vis­its have been over­shad­owed by Khashoggi’s as­sas­si­na­tion in­side Riyadh’s Is­tan­bul con­sulate in early Oc­to­ber – which is be­lieved to have been or­dered by the pow­er­ful prince – as well as the bloody war he has been lead­ing against Ye­men since early 2015.

On Mon­day, the Al­ge­rian pres­i­dency said in a state­ment that Boute­flika had been un­able to re­ceive the vis­it­ing Saudi crown prince due to “acute flu.”

Bin Sal­man wished the Al­ge­rian pres­i­dent a speedy re­cov­ery, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment car­ried by Al­ge­ria’s of­fi­cial APS news agency.

Al­ge­ria PM un­der fire for wel­com­ing MBS

Mean­while, Al­ge­ria’s largest Is­lamic party, the Move­ment of So­ci­ety for Peace (MSP), crit­i­cized Prime Min­is­ter Ahmed Ouyahia for wel­com­ing bin Sal­man, say­ing, “Those who roll out the red car­pet for bin Sal­man do not care about Al­ge­ria.”

MSP head Ab­der­razak Makri also ac­cused Al­ge­rian politi­cians of be­ing cor­rupted by Saudi money.

“Our rulers have de­stroyed the coun­try’s econ­omy and then bin Sal­man drowned them in their fi­nan­cial cri­sis by re­duc­ing oil prices in re­sponse to [U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald] Trump’s or­ders,” he said.

“They lost the Al­ge­rian dig­nity and man­hood, so they ac­cepted to be bribed by the killer of Ye­meni chil­dren with his ill-earned dol­lars through the rob­bing of the re­sources of the Ara­bian Penin­sula af­ter the im­pris­on­ment and killing of its free ci­ti­zens,” the politi­cian added.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Louisa Ha­noune, head of Al­ge­ria’s op­po­si­tion Work­ers’ Party, de­scribed bin Sal­man’s trip as a “provo­ca­tion.”

Op­po­si­tion news­pa­per Lib­erte fur­ther pub­lished a car­toon show­ing a ghost telling the Saudi crown prince, “This is Boute­flika”. The anx­ious prince then re­sponds, “You fright­ened me. I had thought this was Khashoggi.”

Jor­dan visit de­layed amid crit­i­cisms

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 was ini­tially sched­uled to ar­rive in Am­man on Mon­day.

Mean­while, a broad spec­trum of Jor­da­nian ac­tivists, po­lit­i­cal par­ties and jour­nal­ists formed a group against the Saudi crown prince’s visit to the king­dom.

Mu­rad Adaileh, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Is­lamic Work Front, Jor­dan’s largest po­lit­i­cal party, said that bin Sal­man’s trip comes at a time when “the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the death of Khashoggi is not over, and there are spe­cific ac­cu­sa­tions that Prince Mo­hammed is in­volved in it.”

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