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Saudi king brings early end to controversial holiday in France

3 August 2015 16:46


Saudi King Salman has unexpectedly left the Mediterranean coastline of French Riviera, where he had been vacationing over the past days amid security measures including the closure of the public beach.

The Saudi monarch, who arrived in the southern French community of Vallauris on July 26, boarded a Sunday flight from Nice airport to the Moroccan city of Tangiers, bringing an end to his planned three-week holiday only after eight days of stay.

“We can assume that the king has ended his stay,” local official Philippe Castanet told AFP, adding that at least half of his 1,000-strong entourage left France with the king.

It is not yet clear why the king and his massive entourage have left.

Castanet also said the beach, which had been closed for security reasons and the Saudis’ privacy, would reopen to the public on Monday.

The closure of the public beach had angered some of the locals, generating global headlines and prompting over 150,000 people to sign a petition protesting against the “privatization” of the public land.

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