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Sunday, 19 May 2024
Saudi crown prince ‘not attending Arab summit on doctors’ advice’
Mohammed bin Salmàn-Saudi Arabia Crown Prince/Facebook page

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will not travel to Algeria to attend the Arab League summit based on the advice of his doctors, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday (Oct 231), the al-Arabiya reported.

“King Salman had originally directed the Crown Prince to head the Kingdom’s delegation to the Arab League summit in Algeria. However, the medical team at the royal clinics recommended that the Crown Prince avoid traveling by plane for non-stop long distances to avoid ear barotrauma and effects on the middle ear.

This made it impossible for the Crown Prince to visit Algeria, given that the length of the roundtrip journey should not exceed 24 hours,” SPA quoted the royal court.

“King Salman has directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to head the Kingdom’s delegation to the summit. He affirmed the Kingdom standing by Algeria and supporting everything that would make the summit a success,” SPA reported.

Prince Mohamed bin Salman communicated his decision to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in a telephone conversation on Saturday night, according to ASP. 

The white buildings of the Algerian capital city, Algiers, through the lens of a travel photographer. (Peter Campbell via iStock)

Statements carried in Arabic and French on the Algeria Press Service late on Saturday referred to a statement from the office of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune about a telephone call between him and Prince Mohammed.

In the call, Prince Mohammed “apologised for not being able to participate in the Arab Summit to be held on November 1 in Algiers, in accordance with the recommendations of doctors who advise him not to travel”, the statement read.

“For his part, Mr President said he understood the situation and regretted the impediment of the Crown Prince, His Highness the Emir Mohammed Bin Salman, expressing his wishes for his health and well-being.”

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The Saudi government has so far not commented on the 37-year-old crown prince's state of health. A note issued by the Saudi state news agency SPA confirmed the telephone conversation, but did not mention MBS's absence from the summit.

This is not the first time that the newly appointed Saudi prime minister has cancelled a visit to Algeria. He did so at the end of August for reasons that were not disclosed.

The last public appearance of the new Saudi head of government was on 16 October, when he received South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Jeddah.