HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), received at his office in Riyadh, H.E. Shaukat Aziz Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and HE Dominique De Villepin, Former French Prime Minister. The meeting was attended by Ms. Heba Fatani, Senior Executive Manager, Corporate Communications Department and Mr. Fahad Bin Saad Bin Nafel, Executive Assistant to HRH the chairman.
The meeting began as H.E. Shaukat Aziz and HE Dominique De Villepin thanked the Prince for giving them the opportunity to meet with him. During the meeting, they discussed general issues related to their respective countries. The discussions also revolved around a number of general local, regional issues and the global economic climate as well as philanthropic issues, in addition to HRH’s investments.
Prince Alwaleed has a solid relationship with Pakistan especially through Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation that is chaired by His Highness, and had contributed to a number of humanitarian causes in Pakistan. In 2010, Prince Alwaleed visited Pakistan arriving at Multan International Airport with 10 tons of relief aid from Alwaleed Foundation, and toured the flood affected areas in the southern Punjab and Sindh. The 10 ton relief aid that was transported on HRH’s private plane consisted of 3,500 Malaria medicine, 20,000 Diarrhea medicine, 1,500 blankets and 1,000 sanitation kits, and the aid was handed to the concerned parties for distribution. Moreover, Helicopters were on standby to immediately transport Prince Alwaleed, Prime Minister Gilani and the accompanying delegation to get an aerial view of the destruction caused by the flood and they also visited the relief camps to witness at first hand the devastation.
Also in 2010, Alwaleed Foundation made an immediate SR10 million donation for the flood victims of Pakistan that had affected 20 million people. The donation was announced live during the televised campaign to help Pakistan’s victims that was initiated by the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
In 2007, the Foundation donated SR375,000 to Acumen Fund to develop and improve the homes of poor people in Pakistan. In 2005, HRH visited Pakistan on two occasions, the first was in March and the second visit later that year was to witness at first hand the earthquake hit areas of Pakistan. During his trip HRH was met by Mr. Shaukat Aziz and the two toured the devastated sites. His visit followed the announcement of a SR20 million donation to the earthquake victims. The two-fold donation comprised of tents, blankets, medicine and cash. The medical supplies were valued at SR5 million. HRH donated 10,000 tents valued at SR6 million and 30,000 blankets valued at SR3 million. The cash amounted to SR6 million. In addition to that donation, HRH also gave a donation to finance the construction of 20 schools in the affected areas during his visit.
During the trip to Pakistan in 2006, HRH was bestowed the Hilal-i-Pakistan honorary medal during an official ceremony for conferment held at the President’s residence (Aiwan-e-Sadr) in Islamabad.
Prince Alwaleed has also a long standing and solid relationship with France through KHC and Alwaleed Foundation. In 2014, KHC and Caisse des Dépôts International Capital (CDC International Capital – CDCIC) have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to establish an investment vehicle jointly managed by CDCIC and KHC seeking to develop Saudi projects and ventures that shall benefit from the involvement of French companies, technologies and know how. In the same year, Prince Alwaleed met Mr. Tom Wolber, President of Euro Disney S.A.S, Paris. The two discussed a number of issues that included KHC’s investment in Euro Disney in which it holds a 10 % stake. Aslo in 2014, President Hollande and Prince Alwaleed held a meeting at the French presidential Palace, The Elysee.
In 2012, President Hollande and Prince Alwaleed inaugurated the new center of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre in Paris in the presence of Mr. Henrie Loyrette, Director of the Louvre Museum and Ms. Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communications during a ceremony. In response to an invitation from the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy who presided the G8 Summit for 2011, Prince Alwaleed attended the e-G8 forum that was held the eve of the G8 Summit.
The Four Seasons Hotel George V was ranked in Gallivanter’s Guide “Best City Hotel Worldwide” and “Best European City Hotel” for 11 years. Prince Alwaleed acquired the George V in 1996 for $178 million. A two-year $125 million comprehensive renovation was started in 1997. The total cost of acquiring the hotel and renovation amounted to $303 million, reflecting the Prince’s dedication to restore the glory of this landmark.
In 2006, HRH was bestowed the medal of “Legion of Honor,” with the rank of Commander by the former French President, Jacques Chirac during an official ceremony held at the Élysée Palace. The medal is the country’s highest civilian honor, and it was bestowed to the Prince in recognition of his role in strengthening Saudi-French cultural, business and economic relations. In 2007, HRH was awarded the “Golden” medal by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.