After meeting in London this week it would seem that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became fond acquaintances of one another.
It has been revealed by senior sources at the Saudi embassy in the UK and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the discussions between the two men were so pleasant, they have now made plans for the Archbishop to visit Saudi Arabia.
The meeting between Archbishop Justin Welby and the Crown Prince took place yesterday at Lambeth Palace and lasted an hour.
During that time they viewed a selection of early Jewish and Christian texts. They also spoke over fragments of what is thought to be amongst the oldest of Qur’an manuscripts. Amazingly, this had been found in a Birmingham University library in 2015.
A Lambeth Palace statement said: “The Crown Prince made a strong commitment to promote the flourishing of those of different faith traditions, and to interfaith dialogue within the Kingdom and beyond.”
This was echoed by an additional invitation from the Crown Prince when he revealed that all Coptic Christians were welcome in his country.
The second day of the Crown Prince’s landmark UK visit saw the biggest corporate names from Saudi Arabia and the UK meet at a forum in London’s Mansion House. They announced deals worth $2.13 billion amongst the 18 agreements they signed.
The successful three-day visit also resulted in both countries laying out plans that should see £65 billion worth of trade and investment ties being made.
Health, investment, innovation and energy sectors were amongst the deals made and a preliminary agreement between Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell was signed to create a new partnership.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, was also graced with the Crown Prince’s presence along with varying members of the British parliament who were in attendance at the Saudi embassy.
And with meetings falling on the widely celebrated International Women’s Day, there was much focus on empowering women and the importance of them in any society including Saudi Arabia.
Hoda Al-Helaissi, a member of the Shoura Council, said: “A country’s true development can only come about… when it uses 100 percent of its human resources, male and female.”