Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AFP) – The Algerian presidency said in the early hours of Sunday morning that the 37-year-old Saudi crown prince will not attend the upcoming summit in Algeria after his doctors advised him not to travel.
Saudi Arabia offered no immediate acknowledgment of the Algerian comments about the condition of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who quickly rose to power under his father, 86-year-old King Salman. Much of the focus on the Al Saud royal family in recent years has been on King Salman’s healthwhere analysts suggest Prince Mohammed could rule the leading OPEC country for decades after ascending to the throne.
The kingdom’s government did not respond to requests for comment from the Associated Press about the prince, whose health has not prevented him from traveling before.
Statements carried by the Algerian Press Agency in Arabic and French referred to a statement by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s office about a phone call between him and Prince Mohammed.
The statement stated that Prince Mohammed apologized in the call for not being able to participate in the Arab summit that will be held in Algiers on the first of next November, based on the recommendations of doctors who advised him not to travel.
For his part, the President said that he understands the situation and regrets the obstruction of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wishing him good health.
A statement issued by the state-run Saudi Press Agency acknowledged a call between Taboun and the emir, but gave no word on the doctors’ advice. She only said that the invitation focused on “aspects of bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries” and possible joint cooperation.
The Arab League summit in Algeria marks the first time the regional body has met since the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world.
The League of Arab States, established in 1945, represents 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, although Syria was suspended from membership in the midst of its long-running war. While the call for the Palestinians to have an independent state united, it was otherwise deeply divided and unable to enforce its mandates.
Prince Mohammed came to power in 2015 as deputy crown prince, then quickly became crown prince nearly two years later after King Salman ousted Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.He is a powerful figure previously as the head of Saudi counterterrorism efforts and a close ally of the United States.
But his rise to power saw the kingdom undergo rapid changes, such as allowing women to drive The opening of cinemas While loosening the grip of the ultra-conservatives in the kingdom. However, the prince also participated in a corruption campaign He turned a luxury hotel in Riyadh into a prison for the kingdom’s powerful people who could challenge his rule. He also led an internationally criticized Saudi military campaign in a devastating war in Yemen that is still raging today in the Arab world’s poorest country..
US intelligence has linked Prince Mohammed to the 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal KhashoggiHe is critical of his rule. The kingdom has denied the prince’s involvement, though its prosecution of the government division behind Khashoggi’s murder has remained behind closed doors.
Recently, the prince came under heavy US criticism over Saudi Arabia which prompted OPEC and allied countries to agree to cut oil production by two million barrels per day..
The Future Investment Initiative, the crown prince’s annual summit that attracts global investors to the kingdom, begins Tuesday amid this US pressure. Prince Mohammed attended courses in previous years.
Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.
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