Saudi quells MBS’ well-being rumours

Agencies

World, Asia

The video released by the kingdom showed the crown prince chairing a Council of Economic Affairs and Development meeting in Jeddah on May 29.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Riyadh: Amid speculations over the whereabouts of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia released a video of him at a meeting.

The video released by the kingdom showed the crown prince chairing a Council of Economic Affairs and Development meeting in Jeddah on May 29. State-run television aired video of the same meeting.

There was speculation about the Crown Prince’s well-being following reports of gunfire near the royal palaces in Riyadh on April 21.

State-run SPA media had said at that time an unauthorised, recreational drone flew over the area, prompting security personnel to deal with the situation in an unspecified manner. Social media videos seemed to show an attempt at shooting down the drone. The royal palaces of Riyadh are known to be heavily fortified.

There were no casualties, Reuters had reported, citing a senior Saudi official. However, the incident led to speculation online about a possible coup attempt and questions about the whereabouts of King Salman and the Crown Prince.

Kayhan, a conservative Iranian newspaper closely aligned with the Iranian regime, claimed it had seen a report by an unnamed Arab intelligence service that speculated about the fate of the Crown Prince. Iran and Saudi Arabia are bitter regional rivals.

Since the April 21 incident, the kingdom has released various stills showing the crown prince carrying out official duties. The images had no timestamp or marker to indicate when they were taken.    

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