RIYADH: King Salman was accorded a red carpet welcome at the Parliament Square in the Malaysian capital on Sunday at the start of his four-day state visit to Malaysia.
Later the king was conferred the top Malaysian honor of Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara by Sultan Muhammad V, the king of Malaysia, at a banquet dinner hosted for King Salman and his entourage.
On arrival at the Parliament Square in central Kuala Lumpur, Sultan Muhammad V greeted King Salman together with Prime Minister Najib Razak, his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and members of the Malaysian cabinet. The welcoming ceremony began with the rendition of the national anthems of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, followed by a 21-gun salute.
The king inspected the honor guard. Najib earlier welcomed the King at the Bunga Raya Complex of the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang. After landing at the airport, King Salman was joined by Najib for the 45-minute car ride to the hilltop Parliament Square in central Kuala Lumpur for the official welcoming ceremony. King Salman, later on Sunday night, attended a state banquet at Istana Negara (National Palace), which was hosted by the Malaysian king.
The event was marked by the conferment of the top state award on King Salman, said a report published by SPA. The Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara, which is a top Malaysian award given to high-ranking officials for their efforts in promoting friendship and understanding or for advocating noble causes, comprises a collar, a star and a badge. The late King Khalid was also presented this award in 1982.
Speaking during the banquet, King Salman extended greetings and thanks to Malaysian leaders for their hospitality.
“I would like to express appreciation of the government and people of Malaysia for warm welcome and generous hospitality,” the king said. “We are happy about the high level of relations and cooperation between our two countries in all fields as well as our efforts directed to upgrade and enhance them in all fields to serve our joint interests.”
He added: “We confirm that the Kingdom stands with all its might behind the Islamic causes in general and we are fully ready for assistance and cooperation with Malaysia on issues faced by Muslims.”
On Monday, King Salman is scheduled to have a working session with the Malaysian premier during which the king will witness the signing of several agreements.
Later, King Salman is expected to visit University of Malaya, where he will be conferred an honorary doctorate. The king’s itinerary also features receiving an honorary degree from the International Islamic University of Malaysia. The International Islamic University will confer the honorary degree as well as a lifetime outstanding achievement award on King Salman.
Other highlights of the visit are the convening of the Malaysia-Saudi Arabia Business Forum, a get-together with muftis and a meeting of Saudi and Malaysian students sponsored by the Kingdom.