Bouteflika, citing flu, scraps talks with Saudi crown prince

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's planned meeting with Abdelaziz Bouteflika was canceled on Monday because the Algerian president has the flu.

The killing of Washington Post columnist Khashoggi in October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with the West and battered Prince Mohammed's image overseas.

Despite the global outrage, Western powers have pledged to maintain close relations with Saudi Arabia, a top oil producer and buyer of U.S. weapons.

Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, quickly exited the stage without shaking hands or talking with other leaders.

During the visit, the Saudi crown prince met with Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia to discuss bilateral relations, developments of the oil market, and global and regional issues of common interest including the situation in Palestine, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

Khashoggi is said to have used the WhatsApp thread to engage in stern criticism of Bin Salman.

This balance that many global politicians are choosing to follow, of continued conversation with the Saudi crown prince whilst confronting him head on about the Khashoggi case, is the most appropriate in these hard circumstances.

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It also said the crown prince met with South Africa's president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the conference.

The trip marked the highest-profile overseas junket for the crown prince since Khashoggi's murder.

'Leaders should not just offer warm words against human rights atrocities, but back their words up with action.

On Friday, May's office said the prime minister stressed to Salman the importance of ensuring those responsible for the "appalling murder" of Khashoggi are held to account.

Abdulaziz received and clicked on a link sent to his phone in June 2018 that he says exposed his mobile communications to Saudi authorities.

"Rather than be robust, as she promised, we learned the Prime Minister told the dictator "please don't use the weapons we are selling you in the war you're waging" and asked him nicely to investigate the murder he allegedly ordered".