Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz arrived in London today for a three-day official visit to Britain at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II. The King is currently on a 13-day tour that will also take him to Italy, Germany and Turkey.
King Abdullah was welcomed at Heathrow Airport by Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and a number of Saudi and British officials. The King and Prince Charles met briefly at the airport’s VIP lounge before the King left for his guest residence.
During his visit, King Abdullah will receive an official welcome from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, attend a state banquet, meet with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and attend a dinner hosted by the Lord Mayor of London. The King will also meet separately with Prince Charles to discuss the prince’s charities in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia and Britain are expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements, including: a UK-Saudi joint statement; an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation; and Memoranda of Understanding on vocational education and sports cooperation.
In an interview with the BBC prior to departing the Kingdom, King Abdullah said that Britain did not act on information provided by Saudi Arabia that could have averted the July 7, 2005 suicide bombings in London. He also expressed the belief that countries, including Britain, should do more to fight terrorism.