The U.K. is bending over backwards to welcome Saudi Arabia's crown prince as he starts a three-day state visit aimed at deepening economic ties between the two countries.
Banners promoting Saudi-U.K. links have appeared in London, where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as he is known, arrived on Tuesday evening.
He is due to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday and dinner with Prince Charles and the Duke of Cambridge, William, in the evening.
He is also due to meet Prime Minister Theresa May and ministers, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, at the prime minister's residence in Downing Street, Wednesday.
Meetings over the next three days are expected to focus on defense, security and economic ties, Downing Street said as it issued more details of the crown prince's visit.
The two countries are set to launch a "Strategic Partnership Council" aimed at fostering closer economic and cultural relations, with billions of dollars worth of potential deals within the partnership.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's schedule on Wednesday:
- 12:30 p.m. — Queen Elizabeth II receives the crown prince at Buckingham Palace
- 3:45 p.m. — Crown prince arrives in Downing Street
- 4 p.m. — Bin Salman meets Theresa May
- Evening — Prince Charles and Prince William host a dinner at Clarence House
His visit is the first to the U.K. since he became crown prince in June 2017 (he is also defense minister) and since Saudi Arabia started its "major program of domestic reforms," with the U.K. government hoping for deeper relations with the Middle Eastern superpower.