Saudi-Spain ties boost
Jeddah, June 17, 2007
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will embark on a five-nation tour with a two-day visit to Spain.
King Abdullah will arrive in France on June 21 on the second leg of the tour, which will also take him to Poland, Egypt and Jordan. He will be the first Saudi king to visit Poland, where he will arrive on June 24.
Saudi Ambassador to Madrid Prince Saud ibn Naif said Spain had attached great significance to Abdullah’s visit as this was the first visit by a Saudi king to the country in 27 years.
According to him, it was also Abdullah’s first visit to Spain since becoming king in August 2005. 'King Khaled, in 1980, was the last Saudi monarch to visit the European country,' he noted.
“King Abdullah’s visit will be a turning point in political and economic relations between the two countries and between Spain and the Arab world,” the ambassador was quoted as saying in the Arab News.
Saud said King Abdullah’s talks with King Juan Carlos of Spain would deal with world peace, especially efforts to speed up the peace process in the Middle East, the international drive to combat terror and attempts to stabilise the world oil market.
“The king’s Madrid talks are expected to focus on issues concerning the Middle East peace, Iraq and Lebanon besides strengthening bilateral ties,” he said.
He said the visit would witness the signing of several agreements including one for the avoidance of double taxation.
“Saudi and Spanish ministers will also hold meetings to promote co-operation in the areas of energy, trade, education and tourism,” the ambassador added.
King Abdullah’s delegation will include senior princes, cabinet members and senior officials as well as a large number of businessmen.
Prince Saud lauded Spain’s role in finding viable solutions to outstanding issues in the Middle East and supporting peace and stability in the region.
He expressed the Kingdom’s desire to increase the number of Saudi students pursuing higher studies at Spanish universities.
He also hinted at prospects of expanding co-operation in the tourism sector with Spain.
“We are seriously thinking of creating a mechanism to boost tourism ties and setting up a joint committee to translate this desire into a reality.” TradeArabia News Service