The new Emir of Riyadh, His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz lauded Filipinos in the Kingdom for their well-earned reputation as efficient expatriates who respect the culture and laws of Saudi Arabia.
The Emir of Riyadh made this pronouncement during a recent meeting with Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago, avvording to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
During the meeting, the DFA said Prince Khalid noted that the Saudi people have known Filipinos for decades and they have contributed to the national development of Saudi Arabia.
Prince Khalid was appointed as the new governor of the capital Riyadh by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz last Feb. 14.
He succeeded the king's half-brother Sattam who died that month at the age of 72 after occupying the post on October 2011.
A graduate of Britain's Sandhurst military academy, Prince Khalid was promoted in 2011 to general commanding the kingdom's ground forces.
Also present during the meeting was the new Deputy Emir of Riyadh, HRH Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. Both officials were appointed to their new positions on February 14.
For his part, Ambassador Tago extended the Philippine government's gratitude to the Emir for the humanitarian consideration extended to Filipinos who commit violations in the Riyadh region, and the regular clemency granted to Filipinos in detention.
Ambassador Tago likewise expressed gratitude to the Emir’s Office for their untiring efforts in facilitating an amicable settlement of qisas or death penalty cases.
The ambassador specifically noted the instrumental role played by the Emir’s Office in the case of Joselito Zapanta who was scheduled for execution in Saudi Arabia earlier this month but has been given a three-month reprieve by the Saudi government.
In addition, the Emir’s Office has been pivotal in the resolution of several labor-related cases, including the case of 97 Filipinos working with Al-Swayeh company which faced some difficulties.
The Philippine diplomat and the Emir also reviewed the state of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, noting that the Philippines and Saudi Arabia have long been partners in the political arena.
They agree that both countries have fought against international terrorism, and cooperate in promoting interfaith dialogue and national development for their peoples.