2006 News Story

King Abdullah to make historic state visit to Turkey

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will begin a three-day state visit to Turkey on Tuesday, August 8, the Arab News reported today. King Abdullah is the first Saudi ruler in four decades to visit Turkey.

Saudi Ambassador to Turkey Mohammed Al-Hussaini told the Arab News that the two countries will sign seven key agreements, including accords on duties, trade and transport. He also said that the Kingdom and Turkey had forged closer relations with two-way trade exceeding SR 9.3 billion [$2.5 billion] annually.

Al-Hussaini characterized King Abdullah’s visit as a turning point for both Saudi Arabia and Turkey because it is the first visit by a Saudi king since King Faisal visited Istanbul in 1966. In addition, the visit is timely due to the escalation of violence in the Middle East. The ambassador said that King Abdullah would discuss the situations in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq during his meetings with Turkish officials. 

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia play important roles in the Middle East as both have strategic, economic and religious significance in the region, the ambassador told the Arab News. Both countries also share similar views on many pressing international issues, including Iraq, Palestine, terrorism and Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

King Abdullah will be accompanied by ministers, high-ranking officials and a number of Saudi businessmen on the visit.