Saudi crown prince arrives in Spain on last stop of global tour

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Updated 11 April 2018
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Saudi crown prince arrives in Spain on last stop of global tour

  • Crown Prince Mohammed scheduled to meet with Spain's King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Thursday
  • Spain and KSA expected to sign five MOUs on culture, science, employment, air transport and defense

LONDON: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has arrived in Madrid for his first official visit to Spain. 

The Crown Prince left France on Wednesday after a three-day official visit and arrived at Torrejon's military airbase in Torrejon de Ardoz, close to the Spanish capital Madrid. 

Spain's defense minister, Maria Dolores Cospedal, received Prince Mohammed bin Salman at Torrejon de Ardoz. Cospedal was representing Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis who is accompanying Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on an official visit to Argentina.

Prince Mohammed is scheduled to meet with Spain's King Felipe VI, who acceded to the throne in 2014, on Thursday morning before holding talks later in the day with Rajoy. But King Felipe VI will also host a private dinner in honor of his Saudi guest Wednesday.  

During his short visit, Spain and Saudi Arabia are expected to sign five memorandums of understanding in the areas of culture, science, employment, air transport and defense, a Spanish foreign ministry source said.

Top-selling daily newspaper El Pais reported earlier this week that Spain would likely make progress during his visit on a deal to sell five warships to Saudi Arabia for around two billion euros.

The Saudi prince's trip to Spain comes hot on the heels of a three-day official visit to France and after a tour lasting several weeks of the United States, Britain and Egypt, where he signed multimillion-dollar deals.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize on Wednesday the launch of the “Qiddiya” Project which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom.
The project will be built in Al-Giddiya area, some 40 km west of the capital, Riyadh.
The foundation stone ceremony of will be attended by a host of local and international officials, as well as a number of decision-makers, major investors and representatives of the regional and international companies, marking the launch of the project’s formal infrastructure. The first phase will be completed by 2022.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of the Qiddiya Project of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said that the inauguration of this vital project is a real translation of the aspirations of the Kingdom’s wise leadership and its relentless efforts to develop mega projects that would contribute effectively to achieve many direct and indirect economic returns, and to advance sustainable development for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen, in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“About two-thirds of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment. The project will save about $30 billion, which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for Saudi youths,” he added.
For his part, Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, said, “we are delighted to be a key contributor to boost the Kingdom’s economic development and investment, not only for the entertainment industry but also to projects that will develop the capabilities the young Saudi people.”