The king of Saudi Arabia has been the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for nearly a century, and as a Muslim-majority country, Malaysia welcomes the current Saudi Arabian King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who is here on a four-day state visit. King Salman arrived on Sunday and was received by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V in a ceremony steeped in tradition at Parliament Square. That his first visit to the region sees Malaysia being his first stop is an honour, a mark of an enduring relationship that has seen visits by the previous kings of Saudi Arabia. The last visit by a Saudi ruler was by the late King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Saud in February 2006, and before that, the late King Faisal Abdulaziz Al-Saud in June 1970. Naturally, links between the two countries are close given the haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that is obligatory for every Muslim who has the means to perform it. The annual quota for Malaysian pilgrims is among the matters to be discussed. This year’s quota has been reverted to the original 27,900 pilgrims from the 22,230 previously.
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