Saudi King postpones Maldives visit over swine flu fears

Dhaka,  Tue,  25 July 2017
Published : 18 Mar 2017, 19:33:58
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Saudi King postpones Maldives visit over swine flu fears

Saudi Arabia's King Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud postponed an official visit because of the spread of swine flu in the archipelago nation.

Maldives’ president’s office quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Asim as saying that a new date will be decided later, reports khaleejtimes.com.

King Salman was scheduled to visit the Maldives on Saturday. The president's office quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Asim as saying that a new date will be decided later.

According to health ministry statistics, 105 people have tested positive for the H1H1 virus, or swine flu, since January and two have died in the small country of 340,000 people.

Schools and the state university have been closed to control the spread of the disease. The 81-year-old king is making a month-long swing through Asia.

Salman has already visited Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and China.

Opposition parties in the Maldives had planned protests during Salman's visit against what they said was a government plan to sell 21 tiny islands to a member of the Saudi royal family.

Meanwhile, Reuters says, Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who was on an official tour in Asia, has left China to head back to his kingdom.

Saudi Arabia's octogenarian monarch, who has overseen the launch of an ambitious economic reform plan since his accession two years ago, was on a month-long tour of Asia that took him to Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China.

The visits to countries that are some of world's biggest importers of Saudi oil aim to promote investment opportunities in the kingdom, including the sale of a stake in national oil company Saudi Aramco.

Asia also figures in the kingdom's plans for military cooperation, with Malaysia and Indonesia listed as members of a Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance formed just over a year ago.

In China, King Salman oversaw the signing of deals worth as much as $65 billion on the first day of his visit there on Thursday.
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