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Saudi king to begin ‘first domestic tour’

November 6, 2018 at 2:07 pm

King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a cabinet session in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 19 October 2018 [Saudi Press Agency]

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will embark on a week-long domestic tour starting today, a senior Saudi government official told Reuters yesterday.

Local media reported that it is the first domestic which the 82-year-old king has undertaken since he took to the throne in 2015, explaining that Salman’s trip will include visiting the provinces of Qassim and Hail, both northwest of Riyadh.

The kingdom’s Sabq said that the king would launch health, education and infrastructure projects as part of his tour.

READ: Saudi king to make week-long domestic tour amid Khashoggi crisis

The trip comes as Saudi Arabia faces international pressure following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October. Riyadh initially denied any role in his disappearance, but under pressure from Turkish authorities, it identified 18 suspects who had acted as “rogue agents” and killed the outspoken writer.

It was not immediately clear whether the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, would accompany him on the tour.