Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who was set to arrive in the Maldives on Saturday, has postponed the visit.
This was announced on Friday, on behalf of the Maldivian government, by Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohamed Asim, who revealed that the trip was postponed due to the ongoing swine flu outbreak.
He said Saudi king’s arrival date will be announced later.
Minister Asim said Maldives and Saudi share close relations which will continue in the days to come.
While the trip has been postponed, government has been carrying out major preparations to welcome the Saudi King. The Republic Square area, where the welcoming ceremony will be held, has been closed due to preparations.
Meanwhile, a Saudi military ship is already in the Maldives with military personnel who will handle the King’s security. Saudi king’s yacht has also arrived ahead of the visit.
King Salman arrived in China on Wednesday with a reportedly massive entourage of around 1,000 people following stops in Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia as part of a month-long Asia tour.
Local media in countries they visited have fixated on Salman's lavish travelling party, which is said to have included luxury vehicles, an 80-inch (200 centimetre) television and hundreds of tons of luggage.