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Saudi crown prince in UAE, first trip abroad since Khashoggi

AP , Friday 23 Nov 2018
 Mohammed bin Zayed , Mohammed bin Salman
Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan talks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in Abu Dhabi, UAE, November 22, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in the United Arab Emirates on Friday, on his first tour abroad since the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

The prince, who arrived in Abu Dhabi late on Thursday, is also due to visit other Mideast countries, where he will be warmly received by Arab leaders who have stood firmly by his side amid international outrage over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The crown prince will round off his tour with a two-day stop in Argentina where he’ll come face-to-face with world leaders on Nov. 30 for the two-day Group of 20 summit. Among those expected to attend that summit are President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has kept international pressure mounting on the kingdom in the wake of Khashoggi’s killing.

His tour abroad underscores the strong support the crown prince continues to have from his 82-year-old father, King Salman, and signals that he faces no immediate threats to his grip on power at home.

His tour abroad underscores the strong support the crown prince continues to have from his 82-year-old father, King Salman, and signals that he faces no immediate threats to his grip on power at home.

Upon arrival to the UAE, Prince Mohammed was warmly embraced by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. The two crown princes— who also command their countries’ armed forces— are known to be close, with the more experienced Abu Dhabi crown prince reportedly offering his insights to the 33-year-old Saudi prince on past occasions.

The UAE’s state-run news agency, WAM, reported Friday that the two discussed “brotherly and strategic ties” in their talks, which were attended by a wide-range of Emirati officials, as well as a number of senior Saudi officials, including the head of general intelligence, the interior minister and key advisers.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, at war in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels there since 2015, are also expected to take part in U.N.-led peace talks in Sweden next month. The two sides likely discussed Yemen, with the WAM news agency reporting that among those present for the bilateral talks was an Emirati official in charge of liaising with families of UAE soldiers killed in battle.

Prince Mohammed is scheduled to visit Bahrain and Egypt next on his tour.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

 

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