The official visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the Maldives has been postponed indefinitely, Foreign Minister Dr Mohamed Asim announced Friday morning, citing a flu outbreak.
“When the visit is arranged for a later date, that date will be announced,” he told the press at the president’s office, a day before the king was due to arrive for the first visit to the Maldives by a reigning Saudi monarch.
The visit was to be part of a rare, month-long Asian tour.
Rehearsals for the red-carpet welcoming ceremony at the Republic Square in Malé took place over the past two days and the police announced the closure of roads surrounding the official jetty after 12pm on Saturday.
The official jetty has been renovated whilst security was tightened at the capital’s northern waterfront.
According to local media, Saudi military personnel have been involved in the rehearsals to prepare for the king’s arrival and two resorts were booked for the king and his entourage.
A support vessel from the Saudi royal navy with two helicopters and King Salman’s luxury yacht Al Salamah also arrived in the Maldives during the past week.
The royal visit has been mired in controversy with the opposition coalition planning to stage a protest on March 24 against alleged plans to sell Faafu atoll or parts of it to the Saudi royal family.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent