Embattled Saudi crown prince lands in Mauritania in bid to rally allies

Embattled Saudi crown prince lands in Mauritania in bid to rally allies
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has landed in Mauritania, on his way back home from the G20 summit in Argentina.
2 min read
02 December, 2018
Mauritania's president has welcomed the Saudi crown prince [Getty]

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed in Mauritania on Sunday, as the embattled royal seeks to rally allies around him following international backlash over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Prince Mohammed was received at Nouakchott airport by President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz and other ministers from the Mauritanian government, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

He then made his way to the presidential palace in the Mauritanian capital, following the red-carpet welcome.

"HRH the Crown Prince was accorded official warm reception, including red carpet welcome, two countries national anthems playing; and guard of honour review," SPA reported.

"Following a short recess at the airport, the Mauritanian president escorted the crown prince in an official motorcade to the presidential palace in capital Nouakchott."

The visit comes after Prince Mohammed's attendance at the G20 summit in Argentina, where he represented Saudi Arabia.

The crown prince has been under fire following the murder of Khashoggi on 2 October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, with US and Turkish intelligence allegedly linking him to the crime.

Although the crown prince appeared to have been rebuked or ignored by some leaders - including Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - his visit also saw the Saudi leader engage in warm exchanges with the heads of China, Russia, among others.

Before Prince Mohammed arrived in Argentina on Wednesday he stopped off at the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt, who are strong allies of the Saudi government.

The measure was viewed by many analysts as a bid to boost his standing in the Arab world, which his reputation has suffered after the killing of Khashoggi and war in Yemen.

A visit to Tunisia appeared to have been cut-short following protests by trade union members, journalists and human rights activists.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to stop at Algeria on his way home, although Morocco was not on the itinerary, perhaps due to Rabat's refusal to back Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their year-long blockade of Qatar.

Others have reported that the Moroccan king refused to meet the crown prince.