King Salman, Kremlin upbeat about ‘milestone’ royal visit

:: King Salman hopes his visit to Russia this week and talks with President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials will achieve the aspirations of the two countries, he told the Cabinet on Tuesday.

Addressing the weekly meeting at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, the king told ministers he looked forward to the visit enhancing relations between the countries to serve common interests and bring about global peace and security.

The historic visit, the first to Russia by a Saudi monarch, begins on Thursday. The king will lead a high-level delegation of government and private-sector figures.

Saudi Aramco will participate in a range of high-level engagements and activities including an exhibit throughout the royal visit.

The highlight will be the Saudi-Russian Business Investment Forum to be held in Moscow under the theme: Investment, Toward Building a Strong Partnership. The forum will be officially opened by Russia’s Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak.

Senior scholars and businessmen in Riyadh said the visit will open new areas of mutual cooperation and the two countries will reap benefits.

Shoura Council member Maj. Gen. Ali Al-Tamimi told Arab News that Saudi Arabia under King Salman, will open a new chapter not only in Saudi-Russian relations, but also in combating terror in the world.

“The first ever official visit by a Saudi king to Moscow since the foundation of the Kingdom demonstrates that Riyadh is eager to keep a balance in its foreign policy and diversify its ties,” said Mona A. Almushait, another Shoura Council member.

The Russia-Saudi summit is a milestone event to demonstrate that both countries are set for a much closer relationship. Russia and Saudi Arabia are showing the political will to foster bilateral economic ties, and their potential has yet to be fulfilled, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The visit will witness a series of joint economic functions that will bring together 200 representatives of Saudi and Russian companies to promote commercial partnerships and relations.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) will organize a one-day forum in Moscow on Saudi-Russian investments in cooperation with the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) and the joint Saudi-Russian Council, in the presence of a number of Saudi and Russian ministers, and members of the private sector.

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