Manama: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud will next week embark on a 31-day Asian trip that will take him to six countries.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques will first go to Malaysia where he will spend three days.
The two countries will sign several agreements and memoranda of understanding to strengthen ties and boost cooperation, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Thursday.
“The upcoming official visit of King Salman to Malaysia will have a major impact and open various opportunities for Malaysians,” Abdul Rahman Dahlan, the Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said.
King Salman will then head to Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population, on a visit hailed by local officials as historic.
"This is a very historic visit for us," Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said on Tuesday while the Jakarta Post reported that “Indonesia is seeking closer ties with Saudi Arabia with plans for a special reception to welcome King Salman and his entourage to Jakarta for a state visit that is also expected to spur investment.”
Indonesia expects the visit to bring $25 billion worth of investment from Saudi investors, the daily added.
King Salman will be in Indonesia from March 1 to 9. The last Saudi king to visit the archipelago state was King Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, 46 years ago.
King Salman will afterwards head to China where he will spend four days.
In Japan, his next destination, the Saudi monarch will spend three days. He will be the first Saudi king to visit Japan since King Faisal in 1971.
The historic visit is expected to broaden cooperation between the two countries that had so far focused on fuels to include new areas in the wake of the far-reaching reforms launched in Saudi Arabia by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman under “Vision 2030” to diversify the economy and modernise society.
King Salman will later fly to the Maldives before heading to Jordan on March 27 where he will attend the annual Arab summit.