Catholic Cardinal meets Saudi king in Historic Visit to Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has met French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran during the first visit to the Kingdom by such a senior Catholic authority, according to the SPA.

The move follows other overtures by Saudi Arabia’s leadership in recent weeks to other faiths, and a visit by Lebanon’s Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai in November.

Interfaith dialogue has been a focus for Saudi authorities and private sector leaders for a decade. As part of the U.S.-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum series of events held in Chicago (2010), Atlanta (2011), and Los Angeles (2013), Saudi businessmen and women engaged with American religious leaders in their respective communities to enhance the dialogue and openness between followers of Islam and other religions. Those Saudi Forum outreaches were organized by Saudi Arabia’s Committee on International Trade (CIT) and SUSTG.

On his recent trip to the United States this year, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met directly with religious leaders from various faiths in New York.

The Crown Prince has also said that Israelis “have the right to have their own land” and that formal relations between Israel and the kingdom could be mutually beneficial.