King Salman And Trump As 'Two Sides Of One Coin' Enrages Saudi Arabia

The controversial banner was accompanied by a caption reading: "Two faces of the same coin."



Algerian soccer fans have drawn the ire of Saudi Arabia after a banner, comparing Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and U.S. President Donald Trump was displayed in a stadium.

The image was used to protest the U.S. leader's recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. However, pro-Palestine demonstrators in Algiers also accused the Saudi monarch of being complicit in the decision.

The controversy broke out on Dec. 16, when supporters of Algeria’s Ain Melilla football club carried out a rally in a stadium, and some of them unfolded a huge banner; a face one half of which belonged to Trump and the other to King Salman. The image was accompanied by a caption, reading: "Two faces of the same coin."

The incident occurred just as Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim al-Sheikh, chairman of the Saudi Shura Council, arrived in Algeria for an official visit.



Following the protest, Sami bin Abdullah al-Saleh, Saudi ambassador to Algeria, expressed "dissatisfaction" with the banner.

"We will look into the authenticity of this image and take the appropriate response," Saleh said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Saudi media outlets referred to the banner as an "insult" to their king, according to Anadolu Agency.

Ever since Trump announced his administration would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, protests have been carried out in different parts of the Arab and Muslim world.

Saudi Arabia also condemned Trump's decision, however, the Gulf kingdom doesn't seem too eager to let its diplomatic relations with the U.S. be affected over Palestine. At least one possible explanation could be Riyadh's ongoing war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. The U.S. is not only supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia but also military intelligence.

Therefore, Riyadh, while sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, might not want to lose Washington's support that is currently crucial to fight Saudi Arabia's biggest regional rival, Iran.

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters

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