KUALA LUMPUR: The Ruler of Bahrain, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa who began his state visit to Malaysia yesterday until May 3, was given a state welcome at the Parliament House here today.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V welcomed King Hamad, who is on his maiden visit to Malaysia since he ascended the throne on May 6, 1999.
Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and members of the Cabinet.
The ceremony began with the national anthem of both countries played by the Central Band of the Royal Malay Regiment (RAMD) from the Sungai Besi Camp, followed by a 21-gun salute.
King Hamad received the honour guard comprising of four officers and 33 personnel of the First RAMD Battalion led by Maj Azlan Shan Baharom.
Raja Hamad arrived at the Bunga Raya Complex at the KL International Airport in Sepang last night, and was welcomed by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
The visit, at the invitation of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, is the first to be made by a Ruler of Bahrain since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1974.
This is part of his series of visits to Southeast Asian nations and he is scheduled to depart for Brunei after his visit to Malaysia.
King Hamad is also scheduled to be conferred the Honorary Maroon Beret and the Honorary Paratrooper Wings from the 10th Para Brigade, before being feted at a State Banquet tonight.
King Hamad is also scheduled to meet the Prime Minister at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya tomorrow (May 2) and later attend a dinner hosted by Najib. King Hamad and Najib are scheduled to witness the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MoU), including agreements on air services and defence collaborations. -- BERNAMA