saudi crown prince visits mauritania algeria as part of regional tour
Last Updated : GMT 19:07:01
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Last Updated : GMT 19:07:01
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Saudi crown prince visits Mauritania, Algeria as part of regional tour

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Saudi crown prince visits Mauritania, Algeria as part of regional tour

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Nouakchott - DPA

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Sunday arrived in Mauritania for a short visit as part of a regional trip that will also take him to Algeria.

He flew into allied Mauritania from Argentina, where he had attended the Group of 20 annual summit.

Live footage showed Mauritanian President Mohammed Ouled Abdel Aziz welcoming the Saudi royal when he landed at the airport in the capital Nouakchott.

The visit, running for hours, is the first by such a senior Saudi leader to the north-west African country in nearly four decades, Saudi-owned television Al Arabiya said.

Saudi Arabia is the main financial backer of Mauritania, which has supported the oil-rich kingdom amid the global row over the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and a vocal critic of Mohammed, was killed inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul last month. Saudi officials have repeatedly denied reports that the crown prince is linked to the murder.

Mauritania’s major opposition grouping, the National Forum for Democracy and Unity, criticized Prince Mohammed’s visit to the country.

“His visit is unwelcome because of his stances that have harmed Arab and Muslim interests, and glaring violations of human rights and freedom of expression,” the forum said in a statement.

Prince Mohammed is expected later Sunday to travel on to Algeria.

The official two-day visit is aimed at boosting cooperation between both countries and "expanding economic partnership," Algeria's state news agency APS reported, citing a presidential statement.

The visit will "be a chance for exchanging views on Arab and international political and economic issues of mutual interest, mainly the Palestinian problem and developments at the oil market," the statement said.

Prince Mohammed will lead a high-level delegation from the Saudi government and businessmen during the Algeria visit, according to APS.

Algeria and Saudi Arabia are both members of OPEC, a global oil cartel.

Prior to the G20 summit, Mohammed had visited the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia as part of his first regional trip since Khashoggi's murder.

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