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Saudi prince's visit may jam traffic in Puget Sound Friday

SEATTLE — Western Washington is getting a special visit Friday from the Saudi Crown Prince and Seattle police are warning about traffic slowdowns throughout the Puget Sound region.

Mohammed bin Salman is expected to meet with Bill Gates and tour Boeing's widebody jet plant in Everett, but because of security concerns, there is no published schedule.

His visit is part of what is being called a “charm offensive” for the famously conservative kingdom.

The 32-year-old prince is in the area as part of a three-week tour of the U.S.

Earlier in the week, he met with President Donald Trump in Washington D.C., as the young prince set out to reshape Saudi Arabia's image and attempt to woo more foreign investment in its economy.

The national Saudi airline is looking at a deal for some 50 Boeing 737-MAX jets and Bill Gates worked with bin Salman on a $10 million initiative for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The visit comes at a time where the prince has made reforms in his home country, like allowing women to drive and lifting a ban on movie theaters, but it also comes in light of stressed relations with Iran and the jailing of people he accuses of stealing from the state.

The prince will leave for California on Saturday.

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