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Published: Monday December 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday December 23, 2013 MYT 11:13:47 AM

Warm welcome for Najib in Saudi

On sacred ground: Najib and Rosmah leaving Nabawi Mosque after visiting the tomb of Prophet Muhammad. — Bernama

On sacred ground: Najib and Rosmah leaving Nabawi Mosque after visiting the tomb of Prophet Muhammad. — Bernama

MADINAH: The state guest status accorded by the Saudi Arabia government to the Prime Minister’s arrival here was a testimony to the close relationship between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

“I have been given an exceptional welcome as I did not expect the roads from the airport leading to this place to be closed to traffic. This is unprecedented,” he said.

Najib said he was also fortunate to get an unexpected welcome from many students who were were granted scholarships by the Saudi government due to good ties between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

Addressing about 150 students at the University of Madinah here on Saturday night, Najib said he would continue to foster good relations with the Saudi government as they had enabled Malaysia to be given favourable considerations in many aspects including the haj pilgrimage.

During the Egyptian unrest, he said that the Saudi government allowed the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s Charlie aircraft to fly Malaysian students from Cairo to Jeddah before returning to Kuala Lumpur without having to obtain a visa.

Upon arriving earlier at the Prince Mohamed Abdul Aziz International Airport for a four-day working visit, Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were greeted by Madinah deputy governor Abdul Mohsen Al-Munif.

Najib said he would continue to advocate, develop and strengthen Islamic jurispru­dence in Malaysia based on maqasid Syariah (Syari­ah objective), which would become the Government’s platform in championing efforts to develop Islam.

On Saturday, Malaysian Embassy Charge d’ Affaires in Saudi Arabia, ‘Alauddin Mohd Nor, said Najib’s visit to Saudi Arabia would strengthen the relations that had been established over the past 50 years.

’Alauddin said the Saudi government was impressed with Najib’s leadership, which focuses on pragmatic policies suitable for Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia, besides his efforts in promoting the concept of moderation in the international arena.

He also said the investment made by both countries as of 2012 was estimated at RM1.7bil with 40% of it by Malaysia.

Malaysian Consul-General in Jeddah Mohd Khalid Abdul Razak said efforts to promote the Malaysia: My Second Home programme would be intensified to lure more Saudi Arabian participants.

Similar efforts would be done to encourage more Saudi Arabian students to pursue their education in Malaysia, he added. — Bernama

Tags / Keywords: Government, Najib Tun Razak, bilateral relations

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