Saudi crown prince postpones Malaysia trip

Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Photo: The Star Online

The pending working visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Malaysia has been postponed one day before he was due to arrive, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah confirms.

He was scheduled to make a visit to Malaysia on Sunday (Feb 17) where he was expected to meet Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Saifuddin said that he had spoken to his counterpart, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al Jubeir, on Friday night and the latter informed him of the postponement of the visit to Malaysia and Indonesia.

On Friday, Dr Mahathir also told the media that he would see what Japan and China would say to the crown prince before deciding what to say when he meets him.

Prince Mohammed's two-day visit here, from Sunday, was to have been his first to South-East Asia since he was implicated in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, 2018.

Reuters reported last week that the crown prince was expected to visit Malaysia, China and Indonesia, as well as India and Pakistan.

It added that he was also expected to announce investments in energy and infrastructure in India and Pakistan as part of his efforts to wean the Saudi economy off oil exports.

Last October, it was reported that Khashoggi was allegedly dismembered by Saudi Arabian agents in its consulate in Istanbul, accelerating into the worst crisis between the Saudi kingdom and the West since September 11, 2001.

Saudi Arabia at first denied the killing had even taken place.

But on October 19 last year, the Saudi prosecutor released a statement saying that 18 Saudi nationals arrested by Saudi authorities had acted with premeditated intent.

On October 22 last year, Dr Mahathir condemned the killing and described it as an act of "extreme cruelty" and unacceptable.

Malaysia, he said, does not support the killing of government critics.


Copyright: The Star Online/Asia News Network


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