(Zaman) - Saudi King Abdullah is due in the Turkish capital of Ankara today to start a three-day historic visit to Turkey. King Abdullah's visit will be the first time ever a Saudi king pays an official visit to Turkey.
King Abdullah, accompanied by some 300 delegates including a 45-strong team of businessmen, will sign several key agreements including a military cooperation accord and agreements on duties, trade and transport, reports Trend.
Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Suud al-Faysal, said that the visit of the King will initiate strategic relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. "A new chapter will be opened between the two countries," he said.
Top Saudi and Turkish officials are scheduled to discuss Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and other regional issues.
King Abdullah will be received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Tuesday in Ankara before meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey attributes great importance to the visit since it will be a turning point in the relations between Turkey and the Arab world. It will also be a major step forward in bilateral relations between the two countries.
Al-Faysal underlined that an exciting new phase in bilateral relations would commence, underlining that the two countries had the necessary political will.
King Abdullah, who came to power in August 2005 following the death of King Fahd, had planned visits to Turkey several times in the past, which were canceled each time. The recent problems in the Middle East, especially those concerning Iraq and Iran, aided the rapprochement between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
In 1974, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia participated in an international meeting held in Istanbul, not however, on an official level. The visit of King Abdullah will be the first official visit of a Saudi King to Turkey since 1932, when Saudi Arabia was founded.
The largest country in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia holds 25 percent of all oil reserves in the world.
More than 32,000 Saudi businessmen and tourists visited Turkey last year.