China / World

Saudi monarch shows he's selfie king

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-03-04 12:42

JAKARTA - Saudi Arabia's King Salman has embraced the "selfie", taking part in a number of lighthearted self-shot pictures and videos during his tour of Asia that contrast with the pomp of the monarch's trips abroad.

In the first days of a lengthy regional tour, the king has appeared with top-ranking officials in Indonesia and Malaysia in pictures and clips that have been shared online millions of times.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo shared on internet a video of himself dining with the king at the presidential palace in Bogor, near the capital Jakarta.

 Saudi monarch shows he's selfie king

Saudi Arabia's King Salman (center), Indonesian Cabinet member Puan Maharani (left) and her mother, former president Megawati Sukarnoputri, pose for a selfie, as Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (right) looks on, at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. Indonesian Presidential Palace

In the video, both men comment on the visit, the first to Indonesia by a Saudi king in nearly five decades, and give viewers a rare peek into a state event.

As Widodo holds what appears to be a phone camera, the king is seen dining on soup and using gold-colored cutlery before commenting in Arabic on his 12-day visit to Indonesia, the longest leg of his monthlong tour of Asia.

"I'm very happy to be here in Indonesia and with the Indonesian people," King Salman said to the camera.

The king was also photographed posing for a selfie with former president Megawati Sukarnoputri and her daughter Puan Maharani, who is a member of Widodo's Cabinet.

Indonesia has a high concentration of social media users, and selfies are a mainstay of social media in the world's fourth most populous country.

Earlier this week, Salman was seen in a selfie posted on social media with Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, during the first stop on his sweep across Asia.

Vacation in Bali

Though rare, Salman has made occasional appearances on social media before, including when he posed last year for a selfie in Qatar with a teen who survived cancer.

The king is traveling with an entourage of several hundred people and nearly 500 tons of luggage, including two gold-colored escalators.

The king and his entourage of 1,500, including 25 princes and 10 ministers, were scheduled to fly to Indonesia's Bali island on Saturday aboard nine passenger jets for a private vacation. They will be guarded by at least 2,500 police and military personnel, as well as naval vessels parked offshore.

The king's Boeing 747-jet will be met at the airport by his gold colored escalator. Flown in ahead of the visit were two plane loads of cargo, including plates, carpets and two bulletproof Mercedes, said customs official Budi Harjanto.

Salman was also set to visit Brunei, China, Japan, the Maldives and Jordan.


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