Saudi prince’s visit postponed over King Salman’s health

The country’s top government spokesman said a planned visit this week by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been postponed “due to the health condition of King Salman”.

Yesterday’s announcement came hours after the Royal Court in Riyadh said Mohammed’s 88-year-old father had a lung infection and was undergoing treatment involving antibiotics.

Mohammed, known by his initials MBS, had been due to meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the Japanese emperor on his trip from yesterday, which would have been his first to Japan since 2019.

But Saudi Arabia’s government informed Tokyo late on Sunday that, due to Salman’s health, the visit had been postponed, Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters.

“The visit of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed to Japan will be recoordinated between the two countries,” Hayashi said.

Saudi sources yesterday said that members of the delegation would still travel to Japan for some talks.

Salman has been on the throne since 2015, though his 38-year-old son was named crown prince in 2017 and acts as day-to-day ruler.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, has for years sought to quell speculation over King Salman’s health, which is rarely discussed.

But the Royal Court disclosed in April that he had been admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital for “routine examinations”.

He left the hospital later the same day.

Before that, his most recent hospitalisation had been in May 2022, when he went in for a colonoscopy and stayed for just over a week.

The court had said earlier on Sunday the king was suffering from “high temperature” and joint pain and would undergo medical tests. — AFP

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