JEDDAH: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has arrived here to begin a three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia, his first outside of ASEAN since being appointed as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia on Nov 24 last year.

The special aircraft carrying the prime minister landed at the Royal Pavilion of King Abdulaziz Airport at 6.40 am local time today (11.40 am in Malaysia).

Anwar is accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

On arrival, Anwar was received by Jeddah Governor Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Jalawi Al Saud at an official welcoming ceremony involving a static parade.

Anwar and his delegation are scheduled to perform the umrah before receiving a courtesy call from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) secretary-general Hissein Brahim Taha and Muslim World League (MWL) secretary-general Sheikh Dr Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa today.

Anwar is also scheduled to have an audience with the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who is also the Prime Minister, at the Al Salam Palace.

In 2022, Saudi Arabia was Malaysia’s largest trading partner, third biggest export destination and biggest import source in West Asia, with two-way trade totalling RM45.52 billion (US$10.26 billion), a 159.2 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure.

Of this amount, exports to Saudi Arabia rose by 43.8 per cent to RM7.28 billion (US$1.66 billion) while imports from that country increased by 205.8 per cent to RM38.24 billion (US$8.60 billion). -Bernama