10:29 GMT +315 November 2019
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    This handout photo released by the Saudi Royal Palace shows King Salman bin Abdulaziz (C) of Saudi Arabia welcoming Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) at the opening session of a summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi holy city of Mecca in the early hours of June 1, 2019

    Twitter Claims Pakistani PM Khan 'Insulted' Saudi King in Diplomatic Faux Pas

    © AFP 2019 / Bandar AL-JALOUD / Saudi Royal Palace
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    The exchange in question took place in the run-up to a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation; unconfirmed reports suggested that angry Saudi officials went as far as to snub a meeting with Khan.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has come under fire on social media over a perceived "breach of protocol" during a meeting with the Saudi monarch.

    Last Friday, Saudi King Salman hosted a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Mecca.

    Imran Khan was among those present, and footage from the venue showed him walk the red carpet to meet the king, who was standing alongside an interpreter.

    After a brief handshake and greeting, Imran Khan appeared to speak directly to the aide rather than address the king himself, actively gesticulating and pointing his finger at the interpreter.

    The PM was then filmed walking away, as the monarch was still hearing out the translation.

    This exchange irked quite a number of people on social media, who claimed that Khan lacked diplomatic manners.

    "Someone should teach [a] little bit [of] ethics of diplomacy to this man", tweeted Pakistani political scientist and columnist Shama Junejo, adding that Khan "broke the protocol".

    She went on to claim that King Salman cancelled a meeting with Khan because of what she called his "nonsensical attitude".

    Another user alleged that the Saudi government viewed Khan's behaviour as "disgusting" and snubbed the meeting, but this speculation turned out to be ungrounded.

    READ MORE: Iran Official Tells Saudis to Stop Abetting US or Brace for 'Shocking Decision'

    Khan later met with the king and Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman on the margins of the summit, thanking the kingdom for extending an oil facility to Pakistan against deferred payments, which he described as "timely support".

    Some commentators were in hand to defend Khan, saying that he rushed out to give way to other dignitaries waiting to greet the king.

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Pakistan as part of his Asia tour in February. Back then, he pledged to invest as much as $20 billion in the crash-strapped country, teasing that it was only "phase 1" of a series of investments.

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    Tags:
    protocol, etiquette, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Mohammed bin Salman, Imran Khan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan
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