Saudi king in Malaysia on first leg of Asia tour

Saudi king in Malaysia on first leg of Asia tour
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived in Malaysia on Sunday to kick off a multi-nation tour aimed toward boosting his nation’s financial ties with Asia.

The go to is the primary by a Saudi king to Malaysia in additional than a decade, because the Arab nation courts Asian traders for the sale of a 5 per cent stake in state agency Aramco in 2018, anticipated to be the world’s largest IPO.

Malaysian state tv on Sunday confirmed stay footage of the octogenarian king descending from his aircraft on an escalator flown in along with his delegation. He was acquired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak earlier than being whisked away in a closely guarded convoy for a state ceremony at Malaysia’s parliament grounds.

The chief was greeted in parliament with a 21-gun salute, native media reported.

King Salman additionally plans to go to Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan “to fulfill with the leaders of these international locations to debate bilateral relations and regional and worldwide problems with frequent concern,” a royal court docket assertion carried on Saudi Arabia’s state media SPA reported.

Authorities sources with data of the go to stated a 600-strong delegation will accompany the king on his four-day go to to Malaysia, the place cooperation on vitality developments will likely be on the agenda.

State oil agency Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Saudi Aramco will signal an settlement on Tuesday to collaborate in Malaysia’s Refinery and Petrochemical Built-in Improvement (RAPID) challenge, a lift for the Southeast Asian economic system which has been reeling underneath weak world oil costs.

Relations between the 2 international locations have been within the highlight during the last two years after Saudi Arabia was dragged right into a multi-billion greenback corruption scandal at Malaysian state fund 1MDB, based by Mr Razak.

The Malaysian prime minister has denied any wrongdoing within the money-laundering case which is now being investigated by a number of international locations, together with the United Sates, Switzerland and Singapore.

A Malaysian authorities inquiry discovered that almost $700 million transferred to the prime minister’s checking account in 2013 was a donation from the Saudi royal household and most of it was returned.

The final time a Saudi king visited Malaysia was in 2006, when King Abdullah, King Salman’s half-brother and predecessor, flew in with a 300-member delegation.

“Saudi Arabian funding in Malaysia is anticipated to create 1000’s of jobs and we’re proud that Malaysian companies have been chosen to undertake initiatives at a number of the most prestigious areas in Saudi Arabia,” Mr Razak stated in a press release on Friday.

The Malaysian prime minister stated the Saudi king’s go to would strengthen ties between the 2 international locations in combating terrorism based mostly on a robust perception in tolerance, moderation and complete safety of Islam, the official Saudi Press Company reported.

Moreover travelling along with his personal non-public escalator, King Salman has additionally flown in two private vehicles. His entourage has additionally fully booked out three luxurious accommodations in Kuala Lumpur throughout the go to.

After Malaysia, the king is anticipated to journey to Jakarta and Bali in Indonesia from March 1-9 with a good bigger entourage of 1,500 folks, adopted by a visit to Japan from March 12 to 14, officers in these international locations stated.

King Salman is anticipated to spend the final two weeks of March on vacation within the Maldives, in response to a Maldives diplomat. Native newspaper Mihaaru reported that three resorts have been reserved for his keep.

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