KUALA LUMPUR: The Kingdom’s ambassador to Malaysia on Wednesday lauded the strong economic and religious ties between the two countries at a special reception to mark Saudi National Day.
More than 2,000 guests and dignitaries joined in the Kingdom’s 89th anniversary celebrations at an event hosted by the Saudi Embassy in the southeast Asian country’s capital Kuala Lumpur.
Saudi envoy, Mahmoud Qattan, said the two Muslim-majority nations’ flourishing relationship was reflected in growing trade links and the development of their education and tourism sectors. “The relations between the two brotherly countries of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia continue to develop and progress,” he added.
The value of trade between the two countries last year amounted to $4.351 billion (SR16.32 billion) with Saudi exports to Malaysia making up around $3 billion of the total.
The newly established Saudi-Malaysian Joint Committee was due to hold its first meeting soon to help further develop the volume of trade exchanges and mutual investments.
Malaysia’s Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa, said he was “honored” to attend the Saudi National Day celebratory event and paid tribute to the long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia which had seen him involved in close discussions over the years on Hajj and Islamic affairs, to name but a few.
He told Arab News that he hoped diplomatic ties would be taken to “greater heights,” and said he would be visiting the Kingdom for talks with his ministerial counterpart on Islamic-related matters in a bid to pave the way for inclusive and progressive policies.
“We will concentrate on how Islamic affairs can help to achieve greater peace and stability, not just in the Middle East, but also around the world,” he added.
The national festival was celebrated in Malaysia with folklore dances and song, as well as an elaborate spread of authentic Saudi cuisine. The prestigious event featured traditional Saudi delicacies such as kabsa rice and kanafeh dessert, as well as sword dances and performances by children.
Saudi coffees proved popular among locals and outside the festival hall two Bedouin-style tents had been erected to give Malaysians an insight into the traditional lifestyle of the nomadic Arab people.