Bouteflika, citing flu, scraps talks with with Saudi prince

2018-12-03 21:00
Abdelaziz Bouteflika (File: AFP)

Abdelaziz Bouteflika (File: AFP)

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's planned meeting with Abdelaziz Bouteflika was canceled on Monday because the Algerian president has the flu.

Bouteflika's office said in a statement that he was confined to bed with an "acute flu."

The prince is in Algeria as he continues his tour of Arab nations after attending the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

With pomp reserved for heads of state, Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia greeted bin Salman on the tarmac late Sunday. A bevy of top Saudi ministers and businessmen were holding talks on Monday.

Qatar's withdrawal from OPEC, announced Monday, will likely be added to the agenda. Saudi Arabia has led a boycott of the tiny Gulf state since last year.

Unlike in Tunisia, where the prince's visit sparked protests over the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, Algerian Energy Minister Mustapha Guitouni said the prince "is welcome in his second country."

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