Abbas arrived in Saudi Arabia on the day, but his planned visit to Kuwait during the latter half of the current tour was put off.

The Palestinian ambassador to Kuwait  said the leader’s visit to the kingdom has been postponed “for reasons beyond our control.”

The announcement triggered speculations that the postponement was linked to Kuwait’s displeasure with the  Palestinians over their tacit sympathy  for former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein when he invaded the kingdom in 1990.

Abbas’s trip to Kuwait would have been the first high-level visit by a Palestinian since the emirate fell out with Yassir Arafar and his aides over the Iraqi invasion.

A seven-month Iraqi occupation of Kuwait was ended by a US-led coalition in the 1991 Gulf War.

Though sources said Kuwait had requested the postponement, Palestinian information minister Nabil Amr said the trip had been put off “because more preparation was needed for the visit.”

Abbas would now visit Tunisia instead of Kuwait during the latter half of his current tour.

The Palestinian ambassador to Kuwait  said the leader’s visit to the kingdom has been postponed “for reasons beyond our control"

His other stopovers include the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi and the emirate of Dubai.

Abbas on arrival in Saudi Arabia was greeted by the Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. 

The two are due to hold talks on Friday ahead of a meeting between the visiting Palestinian leader and Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.

Abbas is also scheduled to meet King Fahd on Saturday.

The Palestinian prime minister will expectedly brief the Saudi leaders on the Middle-East peace process.

He will also brief them on the situation in the Palestinian territories, including the contentious apartheid wall that Israel is building across the West Bank.