Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz concluded his state visit to Spain today. It was the King’s first visit to Spain since ascending the throne.
Before departing Spain today, King Abdullah hosted King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and Crown Prince Felipe for lunch at his guest residence. The Spanish royals then saw King Abdullah off at Madrid International Airport.
Last night, King Abdullah attended a banquet held in his honor by Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero. In remarks at the event, King Abdullah praised Spanish efforts to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and urged the international community to revive the peace process.
The King also stressed that terrorism should never be linked with Islam, and that the religion has been defamed by terrorists who have warped its noble principles.
Also last night, King Abdullah and Prime Minister Zapatero oversaw the signing of several agreements between Saudi Arabia and Spain. Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos signed an agreement on income and capital taxation, while Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani and Spanish Health Minister Elena Salgado signed a Memorandum of Understanding on health cooperation.
In related news, Moratinos told the Jeddah-based newspaper Okaz that King Abdullah’s visit to Spain is expected to boost relations between the two countries in all areas. The Spanish foreign minister also said that he met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal for talks about various regional issues.
Spain was King Abdullah’s first stop on a five-nation tour that also includes visits to France, Egypt and Jordan. The King is scheduled to arrive in France today for talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy.