Spanish king hosts Saudi crown prince next week

He is due to sign a contract to buy five warships from Spain for two billion euros ($2.4 billion)

Madrid: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince meets the Spanish king in Madrid on Thursday, the royal palace said.


Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s trip to Spain will come hot on the heels of a two-day official visit to France and after a tour lasting several weeks of the United States, Britain and Egypt, where he signed multimillion-dollar deals.

According to Spain’s El Pais daily, he is due to sign a contract to buy five warships from Spain for two billion euros ($2.4 billion), as well as other bilateral agreements.

Spain and Saudi Arabia’s royal families are very close due to King Felipe VI’s father Juan Carlos, who was a close friend of the kingdom’s late King Fahd, who reigned from 1982 to 2005, and is close to his brother King Salman.

Juan Carlos was credited with playing a decisive role in 2011 in helping a Spanish consortium win a contract worth 6.7 billion euros ($8.2 billion) to build a high-speed railway linking the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

According to El Pais, Juan Carlos spent “a few days of rest” in Saudi Arabia just before Easter.

Felipe VI, meanwhile, paid an official visit there in January 2017.

Spain is currently the seventh largest arms exporter in the world.

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