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Spanish King Felipe VI arriving on three-day visit Saturday

King Felipe VI
RIYADH : King Felipe VI will arrive here on a three-day state visit starting Saturday to build a strong relationship between Saudi Arabia and Spain.
Confirming the high-profile visit, Spanish Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Joaquin Perez-Villanueva told Arab News on Wednesday: “The King will be on an official visit to Saudi Arabia from Jan. 14-16 and will be accompanied by an important delegation that includes Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Alfonso Dastis, Minister of Public Works Inigo de la Serna, Deputy Minister of Defense Agustin Conde Bajen, Deputy Minister of Commerce Maria Luisa Poncela Garcia, Deputy Minister of Infrastructures, Transport and Housing Julio Gomez Pomar and top Spanish officials.”
“The king during his stay in the capital will be chairing meetings with the delegation coming with him and hold meetings on political level with the highest authorities in the Kingdom,” the envoy said.
In reply to a question whether the sale of military ships to the Kingdom will be on the agenda during the visit, he said: “We have no idea about it. Negotiations have been going on for quite a while. It could be discussed during the visit.”
The current visit, the first state visit to Saudi Arabia by King Felipe VI, was originally scheduled for Nov. 12, but was postponed following the death of Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz and re-scheduled now with half a dozen Spanish ministers and senior officials to build a strong and robust relationship with the Kingdom.
King Felipe is expected to hold talks with King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
The visit is also expected to coincide with the signing of a contract under which the Kingdom would buy five warships from the Spanish company Navantia.
Spain has longstanding political and economic relations with the Kingdom and is involved in building a high-speed rail line between the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

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