Merkel lands in Saudi on two-day visit

08:49, May 26, 2010      

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived Tuesday in the Red Sea port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the second leg of a four-state Gulf tour.

Merkel, who arrived from Abu Dhabi, opened her two-day trip to the oil-rich kingdom with visiting King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the first academic institution where male and female students study together.

Ahead of her visit, Merkel praised the kingdom's efforts in the Middle East peace process. "In particular, Saudi Arabia plays an important role in solving the conflicts in the Middle East," she said in a weekly video address.

Merkel's agenda for the visit features several issues, including development of bilateral and cultural ties as well as regional security with a focus on the Iranian nuclear file.

The situation in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa will also figure high in her talks with Saudi officials.

Media reports said also that Merkel intends to thank Riyadh for its efforts in securing the release of two German hostages held by militants in Yemen.

The two sides, which are both G-20 members, are expected also to discuss reform of the financial markets and the upcoming G-20 summit in Canada.

Source: Xinhua
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