Saudi King Salman leaves French Riviera resort after controversy over beach closure

Saudi King Salman's planned three-week luxury trip to France was curtailed to an 8-day stay after over 150,000 beachgoers signed a petition lodging protest over the closure of the beach at French Riviera.

Saudi King Salman leaves French Riviera resort after controversy over beach closure

Paris: Saudi King Salman's planned three-week luxury trip to France was curtailed to an 8-day stay after over 150,000 beachgoers signed a petition lodging protest over the closure of the beach at French Riviera.

The heart of the controversy was Mirandole beach near the holiday seaside villa of King Salman in Vallauris,  which was closed by the government, in line with security measures taken in the wake of the visit of the Saudi Royals.

Also, what irked the beachgoers and sunbathers of French Riviera beach was a temporary elevator that was built to directly connect King Salman's mansion to the beach.

Mayor of Vallauris also wrote to the government, expressing protest against the installation of the elevator.

King Salman, who had arrived here last to last Friday along with his 1000-strong entourage, finally boarded a flight to Morocco on Sunday, eight days after his visit mired by the controversy.

Philippe Castanet, a local French government official, told AFP that about half of the king's 1,000-person entourage had left along with him.

However, it is not sure if the king would return to France.

In what is surely set to bring relief to the angry residents, the beach would reopen to the public on Monday morning, Castanet told the AFP.

He also added that the temporary lift connecting the king's mansion to the beach would be removed.

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