Saudi Arabia King Salman postpones Maldives visit

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Web Report

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has postponed an official visit to the Maldives because of the spread of swine flu in the archipelago nation, the Maldives government said on Friday.

King Salman was scheduled to visit the Maldives on Saturday. The president’s office quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Asim as saying that a new date will be decided later.

According to health ministry statistics, 105 people have tested positive for the H1H1 virus, or swine flu, since January and two have died in the small country of 340,000 people.

Schools and the state university have been closed to control the spread of the disease.

The 81-year-old king is making a month-long swing through Asia. Salman has already visited Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and China.

Opposition parties in the Maldives had planned protests during Salman’s visit against what they said was a government plan to sell 21 tiny islands to a member of the Saudi royal family.