Saudi Arabia's King Salman briefs kingdom’s new ambassadors

The meeting came amid rumours of the monarch’s ill health despite him maintaining regular official duties

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King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Sunday met with two of the kingdom’s new ambassadors before the diplomats head to their postings.

The pair, set to represent Saudi Arabia in Ukraine and Uruguay, swore an oath of office before the monarch. They promised to remain faithful to Islam, the king and their homeland, divulge no state secrets and protect the interests of Saudi Arabia both at home and abroad.

King Salman then briefed Muhammad bin Sulaiman, who is set to take up a post in Kiev, and Eyad Hakeem, set to represent the kingdom in Montevideo, at the meeting attended by Prince Faisal bin Farhan, foreign minister, and the king’s special secretary Tamim Bin Abdulaziz.

The meeting came amid rumours of the 84-year old king’s ill health despite him maintaining regular official duties, including meeting with UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Thursday to discuss regional issues.

The Associated Press news agency on Sunday also quoted US officials reporting that, “King Salman appeared healthy and lucid in his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on February 20 in Riyadh.”

Mr Raab met Saudi officials to discuss the conflict in Yemen as well as trade and diplomatic relations as the country seeks post-Brexit partners. Mr Raab tweeted that he discussed ways for the UK to support the kingdom on its “ambitious” Vision 2030 programme of reform “including human rights” as the country seeks to chart a course away from oil dependency.