Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz arrived in Berlin today for an official visit to Germany. The King arrived in Germany from Italy, where he held a historic meeting with Pope Benedict XVI – the first ever meeting between a Saudi King and a Pope.
After a red-carpet welcome at the airport by Chancellor Angela Merkel, King Abdullah received a ceremonial welcome at the Chancellor’s Office and inspected an honor guard.
In the evening, King Abdullah attended a banquet held in his honor by Chancellor Merkel. In remarks at the banquet, the King warned that the Middle East region is beset by tension. Fostering stability, increasing international counterterrorism cooperation and ensuring that the region remains free of weapons of mass destruction will contribute to the region’s security, he said. King Abdullah also noted that with its economic and political status, Germany could make an effective contribution to the peace process.
Saudi-German relations date back to 1929, when the founder of the modern Kingdom, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, signed a friendship treaty with Germany. Today, Germany is one of Saudi Arabia’s major trading partners; in 2005, the volume of trade between the two countries exceeded $6.6 billion dollars [4.6 billion Euros]. In February 2007, Chancellor Merkel visited the Kingdom for talks with King Abdullah.
Germany is the third leg of a four-nation tour that has already taken the King to Britain and Italy. He will also visit Turkey before returning to Saudi Arabia.