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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 March 2019

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to visit Indonesia next week

Saudi royal will also make stops in Pakistan, Malaysia and India during Asian tour beginning on Saturday

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. G20 Press Office via AP
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. G20 Press Office via AP

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit Indonesia next week as part of an Asian tour that includes Pakistan, India and Malaysia, the government in Jakarta confirmed on Thursday.

The crown prince will arrive on Monday, officials said, but provided few other details of the Saudi royal's itinerary for his second official visit to the world's biggest Muslim majority country.

"He will arrive in Indonesia on February 18, and meet the president on February 19," presidential spokesman Johan Budi told Agence France-Presse.

The crown prince is scheduled to visit Pakistan and Malaysia before arriving in Indonesia, from where he will travel to India.

Prince Mohammed's first visit to Indonesia was with his father King Salman in 2017, as part of an Asian tour seeking investment opportunities.

At that time, Jakarta and Riyadh signed a range of agreements from trade and aviation to boosting co-operation in science, health and fighting crime.

They also signed an agreement involving state-owned energy firms Aramco and Indonesia's Pertamina to expand a multi-billion-dollar oil refinery in the South-East Asian nation.

The crown prince is wooing foreign investment in Saudi Arabia and seeking to build up trade ties as part his Vision 2030 strategy to develop the Saudi economy and end dependence on oil revenue.

His plans received a setback following an international backlash against Saudi Arabia over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate in October. The Saudi government denied accusations that the killing was carried out with the prince's knowledge and said it was a rogue operation by officials acting without authorisation.

Prince Mohammed's trip to Asia will be his second overseas tour since the incident, following visits to the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia in November before flying to Argentina for the G20 summit.

Updated: February 14, 2019 11:44 AM

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