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Saudi king kicks off Asia tour in Malaysia

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman inspects an honour guard at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia February 26, 2017.

Dubai: Malaysia welcomed Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday for the start of a rare, month-long Asian tour, where he will build ties and seek to draw more investments to the Gulf nation.

The visit is the first by a Saudi king to Malaysia in more than a decade, as the nation courts Asian investors for the sale of a 5 per cent stake in state firm Aramco in 2018, expected to be the world’s biggest IPO.

Malaysian state television on Sunday showed live footage of the king descending from his plane on an escalator flown in with his delegation. He was received by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak before being whisked away in a heavily guarded convoy for a state ceremony at Malaysia’s parliament grounds.

The leader was greeted in parliament with a 21-gun salute, local media reported.

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 carried on Saudi Arabia’s state media SPA reported.

After Malaysia, the King is expected to travel to Jakarta and Bali in Indonesia from March 1-9 with an even larger entourage of 1,500 people, followed by a trip to Japan from March 12 to 14, officials in those countries said.

King Salman is expected to spend the last two weeks of March on holiday in the Maldives, according to a Maldives diplomat.

Related:   Maldives pres, first lady to depart Thurs for Hajj

Local newspaper Mihaaru reported that three resorts have been reserved for his stay.

Full details are available from Gulf News

Source URL: Bing News :

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