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Malaysia rolls out red carpet as King kicks off Asia tour
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 02 - 2017

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman received a grand red carpet welcome by Malaysian King Muhammad V at the parliament building on Sunday.
[caption id="attachment_122721" align="alignright" width="300"] Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman stands next to Malaysia's King Muhammad V before inspecting an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday. — AP
King Salman arrived at the Parliament Square accompanied by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The Central Band of the Royal Malay Regiment and a 21-gun salute greeted King Salman, who inspected a guard of honor by 103 members and four officers of the Royal Malay Regiment's First Battalion.
The King and his delegation arrived earlier on Sunday at the Bunga Raya Complex at Kuala Lumpur International Airport for a four-day state visit to Malaysia.
This is King Salman's first state visit to Malaysia since ascending the throne in 2015.
Later in the evening, King Salman held wide-ranging talks at Istana Negara (King's Palace) with Sultan Muhammad V.
King Salman was conferred the Darjah Seri Mahkota Negara, the Most Exalted Order of the Crown of the Realm, a Malaysian federal award.
On Monday, King Salman will attend the signing of several agreements and memoranda of understanding.
Later in the evening, the King is expected to visit University of Malaya, where he will be conferred an honorary doctorate.
Malaysian State oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Saudi Aramco will sign an agreement on Tuesday to collaborate in Malaysia's Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project.
"Saudi Arabian investment in Malaysia is expected to create thousands of jobs and we are proud that Malaysian firms have been chosen to undertake projects at some of the most prestigious locations in Saudi Arabia," Najib said in a statement on Friday.
He described King Salman's visit to Malaysia as important to further enhance Saudi-Malaysian relations based on trust and mutual respect, noting that it will be a great example for Islamic and other countries in the world.
He said in a statement quoted by Malaysian National News Agency, "We are proud of this relationship as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are closely cooperating for serving the Islamic nation."
King Salman also plans to visit Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan "to meet with the leaders of those countries to discuss bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common concern," a Royal Court statement said.
After Malaysia, the King is expected to travel to Jakarta and Bali in Indonesia from March 1-9, followed by a trip to Japan from March 12 to 14.
King Salman is expected to spend the last two weeks of March on holiday in the Maldives.
The official delegation accompanying the King includes Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Saleh Al-Asheikh, Minister of State and Cabinet Member Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih, Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Turaifi, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Labor and Social Development Ali Al-Ghafis, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar Madani and a number of officials.
More than 55 years of distinguished ties
Riyadh — Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in the early 60s, the ties between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have been distinguished.
The political relations between the two countries are based on understanding and mutual respect.
The diplomatic relations were established in mid-1961 with the opening of Saudi Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysian Embassy in Jeddah.
The first visit to Malaysia was made by the late King Faisal in 1970.
The late King Abdullah visited Malaysia in January 2006.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and King Al-Mu'tasim Bi'llah Muhib Eldine Mu'azem Shah have visited the Kingdom.
As an extension of military cooperation between the two countries, Malaysia participated in coalition forces to restore legitimacy in Yemen. It also took part in the maneuvers of "North Thunder" and in the Islamic military alliance against terrorism.
The Kingdom and Malaysia have signed several agreements and memoranda of understanding in military, educational and tourism fields.
Prominent among these are the memorandum of understanding for cooperation in scientific, technical and industrial area for the purposes of national defense, an agreement between the Islamic University of Madinah and University of Science Malaysia (USM) to strengthen the scientific and educational links between the two universities, a cooperation agreement between Taibah University and the University of Technology, Malaysia, a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of tourism between the two countries. — SPA

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