Riyadh (dpa) - Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will not attend this week's G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, the Saudi embassy in Germany confirmed Monday.
No reason was given for the planned absence. Diplomatic sources in Riyadh had earlier cited the ongoing diplomatic dispute with Qatar, which they said would require the king's attention at the weekend.
Saudi Arabia led Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt in cutting ties with Qatar last month, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism. Qatar is expected to respond to a list of demands from its accusers by later in the week.
Speculation has swirled that health issues might be preventing the 81-year-old king from making the trip to Hamburg.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will also not attend the summit, the embassy said.
Saudi Arabia will send State Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf. Al-Assaf served as finance minister in Saudi Arabia until October.
Sources had previously told dpa that Saudi Arabia would be represented by current Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan at the G20 summit, though al-Jadaan was not mentioned in the official embassy statement.
The summit, set for Friday and Saturday, brings together leaders including US President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Note to editors
- Releads with embassy statement, different Saudi minister to attend summit
The following information is not intended for publication
- Reporting by: Abdullah Shihri in Riyadh; Benno Schwinghammer and Nehal El-Sherif in Cairo and Anne-Beatrice Clasmann in Berlin
- Editing by: Niels C Sorrells, +49 30 2852 31472, <email@example.com>
dpa str nes wjh ncs mnr