PETALING JAYA: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has postponed his working visit to Malaysia and Indonesia, a day before he was due to arrive.
Confirming this yesterday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said he had spoken to his counterpart, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al Jubeir, on Friday night.
The Saudi minister confirmed that the visit was off.
Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry also confirmed this in a press release, saying that the two parties would “communicate a new schedule and more optimal outcomes for the visit”.
Reuters reported last week that the Crown Prince was expected to visit Malaysia, China and Indonesia as well as India and Pakistan.
It added he was also expected to announce investments in energy and infrastructure in India and Pakistan, part of his efforts to wean the Saudi economy off oil exports.
The Crown Prince – implicated in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi – was scheduled to make a visit to this region today , where he was expected to meet Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
This would have been the Crown Prince’s first tour to South-East Asia since Khashoggi’s murder .
Last October, it was reported that Khashoggi was allegedly dismembered by Saudi Arabian agents at its consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi Arabia at first denied that the killing took place.
However, on Oct 19, 2018, the Saudi prosecutor released a statement saying that 18 Saudi nationals arrested by Saudi authorities had acted with premeditated intent.
On Oct 22 last year, Dr Mahathir had condemned the killing and described it as an act of “extreme cruelty” and unacceptable.
Malaysia, he said, did not support the killing of government critics.