Eileen Gu makes Beijing Olympics debut

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with the US secretary of state in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on September 18, 2019.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with the US secretary of state in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on September 18, 2019.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not attend the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Friday despite being on China’s official list of attendees.

Instead, the Saudi delegation included Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, the Saudi ambassador to the US.

On Jan. 28, the Chinese embassy to Saudi Arabia tweeted a note offering a warm welcome to the Crown Prince to the opening ceremony, adding that it was hoped the visit would promote Chinese-Saudi strategic relations.

Prince bin Salman was one of the most high-profile world leaders due to attend the event, which was overshadowed by diplomatic boycotts by many western nations including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Prince bin Salman did not attend the opening ceremony due to “his schedule.”
“Prince Mohammed himself wished the Beijing Winter Olympics every success,” the statement read. 

Prince bin Salman also did not attend a banquet for foreign leaders hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on Saturday, shown on state media CGTN.

The Twitter account for Saudi Arabia’s Embassy to the US posted a video of the Saudi princess waving at the Saudi team during the opening ceremony. Alpine Skier Faiq Abdi is the first athlete from Saudi Arabia to ever compete in a Winter Olympics.

This post has been updated with comment from China’s Foreign Ministry.

source: cnn.com