Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in Algeria
- Large delegation touches down in Algiers as questions loom over murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the Algerian capital on Sunday night as part of a tour overshadowed by the murder of a dissident journalist.
The powerful prince and his large delegation were seen being greeted on a red carpet at Algiers airport by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and members of his government.
The aim of the trip was to give “new impetus to bilateral cooperation (and) the realisation of partnerships and investment projects”, the Algerian presidency said ahead of the visit.
Prince Mohammed set off last week on his first foreign tour since the grisly murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate on October 2.
The Saudi crown prince’s visit to Algeria has drawn criticism from political and academic circles in the North African country.
It was jointly denounced by 17 intellectuals, journalists, Muslim scholars and other figures in Algeria in a statement obtained by AFP.
In the statement, they said the “whole world is certain that he ordered a terrible crime against the journalist Jamal Khashoggi”.
Political parties also expressed opposition to the visit, among them the Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP) opposition party.
It said Prince Mohammed was “responsible for the death of a large number of children and civilians in Yemen” as well as that of Khashoggi.
Louisa Hanoune, head of the opposition Workers’ Party (PT), described his visit as a “provocation”.
Earlier in the day, Prince Mohammed made a brief visit to Mauritania where he signed a series of agreements with President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
Khashoggi’s killing has put mounting pressure on Riyadh and Prince Mohammed, who Turkish officials – and reportedly the CIA – have concluded was behind the critic’s death.
Saudi authorities have vehemently denied the crown prince was involved in the murder, although Riyadh has admitted he was killed at the Istanbul consulate.