Duterte meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Duterte meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman
(UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte is the first Philippine president to visit Saudi Arabia in around 8 years

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (UPDATED) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Tuesday, April 11, as part of a two-day state visit in Riyadh.

Photos released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) showed Duterte, who was in a suit, being received by King Salman on Tuesday.

HEADS OF STATE. Saudi Arabia's King Salman receives Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on April 11, 2017. Photo courtesy of the Saudi Press Agency

In a news release on Tuesday, the SPA said Duterte and King Salman witnessed the signing of the following: 

  • an agreement between the two countries’ foreign ministries “in the field of recruiting public laborers”
  • a memorandum of political consultations “between the ministries of foreign affairs in the two countries”
  • a cooperation program between the two countries’ diplomatic academies 

LEADERS' MEETING. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman during Duterte's state visit to Riyadh on April 11, 2017. Photo courtesy of the Saudi Press Agency

King Salman is both chief of state and head of government of Saudi Arabia, which is an absolute monarchy.

He has been Saudi Arabia’s king since January 2015.

Duterte is in Riyadh for a two-day state visit.

He is the first Philippine president to visit Saudi Arabia in around 8 years.

LIGHT MOMENT. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Saudi Arabia's King Salman view what appears to be a replica of a camel during Duterte's state visit to Saudi Arabia. Photo courtesy of the Saudi Press Agency

The last Philippine leader to visit Saudi Arabia was then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who visited the Middle Eastern country in September 2009.

Aside from Arroyo and Duterte, the other Philippine leader to have visited Saudi Arabia was then president Ferdinand Marcos in March 1982. – Rappler.com

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior multimedia reporter covering religion for Rappler. He also teaches journalism at the University of Santo Tomas. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.