Governor of Riyadh Province Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is on an official visit to the Kingdom of Spain, attended a banquet in his honor given by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia on Tuesday evening, and referred to the strong friendship and cooperation between the two countries and peoples.
Yesterday, he met with President of the Government Jose Maria Aznar Lopez, and noted that their viewpoints are identical regarding the issue of the Middle East and the desire of the Palestinians for peace. Expressing his thanks to Spain for its role within the framework of the European Union to achieve a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East, Prince Salman explained that the solution to the Arab-Israeli dispute should be based on the principles of the Madrid conference, the United Nations resolutions, and implementation of all that has been agreed upon between the two parties. Earlier, Prince Salman toured the city of Madrid, including the famed Prado Museum, and remarked on the cultural similarities between the Arab and Spanish peoples, and the Spaniards' pride in their Arab roots.
Saudi Arabia has maintained strong ties with Spain since 1957. There are currently around 400,000 Muslims in Spain, 60,000 of them in the capital, Madrid, whose Islamic Center, donated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, was opened by Prince Salman in 1992.