KUALA LUMPUR: King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia was accorded a state welcome at Parliament Square upon His Majesty’s arrival for a four-day visit to Malaysia.
King Salman Abdulaziz was greeted by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at 11.50am Sunday.
Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The welcome ceremony began with the rendition of the national anthems of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia by the Royal Malay Regiment central band from the Sungai Besi Camp, followed by a 21-gun salute.
King Salman inspected a guard-of-honour comprising four officers and 103 men of the 1st Battalion Royal Malay Regiment led by Major Azlan Shah Baharum.
The Saudi King and his entourage were introduced to the Cabinet ministers and members of the diplomatic corps present at the event.
This is King Salman’s maiden visit to Malaysia since ascending the throne on Jan 23, 2015.
The visit is at the invitation of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V.
King Salman is scheduled to have a meeting with Najib and attend a delegation meeting.
He is also scheduled to attend an official reception hosted by the Prime Minister and his wife.
The King and Najib are expected to discuss the progress of bilateral cooperation and improvement in cooperation in the various sectors as well as exchange views on regional issues.
Matters related to the haj and the annual quota of Malaysian pilgrims are on the main agenda, besides strengthening cooperation in several related areas.
The last visit by a King of Saudi Arabia to Malaysia was in 2006, by the late King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
The late King made a state visit to Malaysia in 1970.
Saudi Arabia is Malaysia’s second largest trading partner in the Middle East, and trade between the two countries saw an increase of 19.8% last year from the previous year and now totals RM13.12bil.
Universiti Malaya is scheduled to confer an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters on King Salman on Monday, and the International Islamic University of Malaysia, an honorary doctorate of Philosophy in Political Science, on Tuesday. – Bernama