Is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Ill? Algerian President's Statement Raises Questions

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman triggered a health alarm after reports said he cancelled an Arab League meeting in Algeria following the doctors' advice.

The news that the 37-year-old prince would not attend the event in Algiers was communicated by the Algerian presidency. "Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune received a phone call from the Crown Prince, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, who expressed regret that he would not attend the Arab League summit in Algeria under doctors' recommendations," the presidential press service said in a statement.

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Saudi Arabia Makes no Comments

Al Jazeera confirmed the news, adding that Saudi Arabia offered no immediate acknowledgement of the comments by Algeria about the condition Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Crown Prince, who is known as MbS, was appointed the Deputy Crown Prince in 2015 when his father King Salman became the Saudi Arabian monarch. The young prince, who was 30 years old then, became the Crown Prince just two years later in a controversial palace reshuffle. King Salman, 86, recently appointed MbS as the country's Prime Minister. He holds virtually all powers in the oil rich kingdom.

King Salman's Health

There were reports in 2017 that King Salman, who has been plagued by health crises, would abdicate in favor of Prince Mohammed.

Saudi King
Saudi King Salman Reuters

"For his part, Mr President said he understood the situation and regretted the impediment of the Crown Prince, His Highness the Emir Mohammed Bin Salman, expressing his wishes for his health and well-being," the Algeria Press Service said in a statement carried in Arabic and French.

However, a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency did not mention any health issue or doctor's advice that barred the Prince from attending the Arab League Summit.