Protest underway in Tunis over Saudi Crown prince's visit

Egyptian Presidency's office Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is received by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi in Cairo

Protest underway in Tunis over Saudi Crown prince's visit

President Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin but not with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit this week, the White House said Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya, Essebsi explained that the founding king advised the late Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba to adopt the politics of stages, which is the policy now pursued by Tunisia at present.

The Saudi crown prince is also facing pressure from different countries that Riyadh announced as part of bin Salman's world tour.

After embraces and smiles from allies in the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt this week, the powerful crown prince did not receive such a warm welcome in Tunis: at least 200 people gathered in the city centre on Monday night the day before scheduled talks with the Tunisian president, Beji Caid Essebsi.

Egyptian Presidency's office Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman poses with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi in Cairo

Al-Qasabi also said that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries has hit $7.3 billion, while Saudi direct investments in Egypt have exceeded $3.4 billion. Furthermore, there are calls from US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis for a peaceful resolution and ceasefire in Yemen, even though reports have emerged that the U.S. may be taking a step back from a ceasefire in Yemen due to the fear of angering Saudi Arabia, who is a key ally of the US.

Under the title "No to polluting revolutionary Tunisia", Tunisian journalists and 12 civil society organisations held a press conference on Monday at the headquarters of the syndicate, condemning their government for hosting bin Salman, who they held responsible for Khashoggi's death.

The prince is expected to fly on to a G20 summit in Argentina later this week.

Despite the worldwide outrage, the crown prince's decision to travel to Argentina signals that he still has the strong support of his 82-year-old father, King Salman, and faces no major threat at home.

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The Saudi crown prince is visiting Tunisia on Tuesday as part of a tour of several Arab countries on his first trip overseas since Khashoggi's murder, which has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with the West and battered his image overseas.

The crown prince's delegation includes Prince Turki bin Mohammed, Advisor at the Royal Court, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, Minister of Interior, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir. The crown prince himself oversees all major levers of power in the kingdom, including the military and security forces.

The Tunisian journalists' union and a collective of 50 lawyers have filed two legal complaints against the prince for alleged crimes against humanity in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Shiite rebels, and repression of freedom of expression.

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Despite the Human Rights Watch filing, USA Today reported that Salman would more than likely be protected by his diplomatic status while in Argentina and authorities would likely not take up a case against him. "I think we're going to see definitely some return to institutionalism, some return to a consensus-based decision-making process and commitment to defined procedures".

Tunisia was the birthplace of the "Arab Spring" uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa in early 2011 which overthrew the regime of authoritarian ruler Zein Al Abidine Ben Ali. "He may listen, but he doesn't absorb", Henderson said.

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