Algeria’s Army Chief Sparks Diplomatic Crisis with Riyadh after Declining Invitation for Umrah Pilgrimage

Algeria’s army Chief Gen. Said Chengriha has sparked a serious diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia after rejecting an invitation for Umrah pilgrimage, an act of generosity offered by Saudi authorities to all visiting Muslim leaders and senior officials.
Chengriha was invited to the spiritual journey with his accompanying delegation while he was visiting Saudi Arabia to attend the World Defence Exhibition held in Riyadh from 4 to 8 February.
According to press reports, the office of Saudi Minister of Defense, Prince Khalid bin Salman has informed the Algerian delegation that an official plane has been put at their disposal to take them from Riyadh to the holy city of Mecca for Umrah.
But, General Chengriha, de facto ruler, declined the Saudi offer saying that he does not need to perform Umrah pilgrimage. Worst of all, he threatened all members of his delegation not to go to Mecca for Umrah, violating Islamic traditions and committing serious sins.
The Saudi authorities have been irked by the thoughtless and irresponsible the behavior of Chief staff of the Algerian army. The shocking disrespectful behavior of Gen. Chengriha towards the Saudi authorities shows the state of mind of the Algerian rulers and their reckless diplomacy fueling tensions and divisions in the region and worldwide.
The diplomatic blunder will further deepen Algeria’s isolation and exacerbate further tension between Algiers and Riyadh and its neighboring countries, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

About Geraldine Boechat 2687 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia