Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz yesterday received the Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini and his accompanying delegation. Mr. Dini, addressing a press conference prior to his departure from the Kingdom, said his talks had been “extremely fruitful and productive”. During a meeting with Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf earlier in the day, an agreement was signed to encourage and protect investment exchanges between the two countries, with the aim of enhancing economic cooperation, creating suitable conditions for investment, encouraging the initiatives of the private sector, raising the level of economic prosperity in both nations, guaranteeing free exchange of payments and ensuring complete protection and security for all investments. The number of joint Saudi-Italian companies working in the Kingdom now totals 53, most of them engaged in construction and industry. Italy is the second country from the European Union to sign such an agreement with Saudi Arabia, Germany being the first. Negotiations are under way for similar agreements with other EU countries.