7 October 2017

MGIMO Awards Honorary Doctorate to King of Saudi Arabia

October 7th, during a solemn ceremony at MGIMO University, the King of Saudi Arabia, the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was conferred the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.

The meeting was kicked off by the Minister of Education and Science, Olga Vasilieva, who underlined the fact that it a great honor for Russia to welcome His Majesty at MGIMO, a University recognized the world over for the quality of its educational programs, and specialization in languages and cultures of the Middle East. The Minister spoke about the new opportunities for cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia in the spheres of science and education, expressing confidence that the Saudi King would identify the most promising areas and implement mechanisms for an effective partnership.

MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov enthusiastically greeted the guest of honor, noting his extreme pleasure at welcoming the Saudi King at MGIMO. The Rector also emphasized the role played jointly by Russia and Saudi Arabia in promoting stability in Eurasia. Anatoly Torkunov also mentioned the history of fruitful cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia and noted that Arabic has been taught for two centuries at MGIMO and in its ancestor institution the Lazarev Institute, from which the University inherited an exceptional collection of Arabic books and manuscripts.

The Rector expressed hope that this visit would for a long time stay engraved in the memory of MGIMO students. He then announced that on September 20th, the Academic Council of the University had unanimously decided to confer on Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud the degree of Honorary Doctor of MGIMO for his outstanding contribution to international cooperation and friendly relations among nations. The Rector presented the diploma to the King, who then expressed his gratitude to MGIMO management for the kind welcome and for the title he was conferred.

The King also underscored the importance of science and education for any nation, as they contribute to the formation of enlightened new generations, capable of mutual respect, peace and progress. The upbringing of youth is indeed an essential task in order to promote the building of a world civilization and to be able to overcome new challenges. The King encouraged universities of friendly countries to collaborate in order to promote a productive dialogue for the development of science and mutual understanding. Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud closed his speech with the following words: «May the Peace, Mercy and Blessing of Allah be upon you!»

— See the MGIMO web-site for more photos and russian version