Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz left Sharm Al-Shaikh today after a short visit to Egypt, heading for Austria on an official visit. While in Sharm-Al-Shaikh, Crown Prince Abdullah held talks with Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, which focused on the steps needed to prepare for holding the Arab Summit as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, President of the Republic of Austria Thomas Klestil has commented that the visit of Crown Prince Abdullah will herald a new era in the distinguished relations between the two countries. He stressed the need for resuming the Middle East peace talks, called for a more effective role for the United Nations in Iraq, and urged international efforts to root out terrorism. The Austrian President visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in October 2001. Austria has close economic ties with Saudi Arabia, the two-way trade exceeding SR1 billion annually, and has extended its full support to the Kingdom's application for membership in the World Trade Organization.