RIYADH - Saudi Arabia and Brazil have agreed to allow direct flights between the two countries for the first time.

Flights between the Kingdom and Brazil are currently only available via Dubai.

The agreement follows the visit to Riyadh of a Brazilian parliamentary delegation, headed by former President and Sen. Fernando Collor de Mello, during which a range of issues were discussed with senior Saudi officials.

Flavio Marega, the Brazilian ambassador, told Arab News that the former president held talks with Mohammed bin Amin Al-Jeffery, deputy chairman of the Shoura Council, and with Mohammed Hamed Al-Nagadi, president of the Saudi-Brazilian Parliamentary Friendship Committee, at the Majlis Al-Shoura on Wednesday.

“During the meetings with the deputy speaker of the Shoura Council and the president of the parliamentary friendship group, the former president of Brazil discussed key issues such as approval of the bilateral agreement on air services between Brazil and Saudi Arabia and also the agreement on visas, which will facilitate the granting of visas for visitors from Saudi Arabia to Brazil, and also from Brazil to Saudi Arabia, to do business, for tourism and other purposes,” he said.

The agreement for direct flights has been approved by the Kingdom and now has to be agreed by the National Congress of Brazil.

Marega said that at the outset of the meeting Al-Jeffery welcomed the delegation, noting the deep relations between the two countries, especially in parliamentary cooperation.

“The visiting senator met with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar bin Obaid Al-Madani on Thursday and discussed various aspects of the bilateral relationship between Brazil and the Kingdom, and agreed that both countries will cooperate further in fields including political, economic, trade and investment, cultural and educational exchanges,” the envoy said.

He said that Sen. Fernando had expressed regret about the ballistic missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by the Houthis, considering these as terrorist acts targeting the stability and security of the Kingdom.

A number of Saudi cadets have undergone military training at the prestigious Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras (AMAN) in Brazil. Their training includes a one-year language and adaptation program, followed by a four-year degree at AMAN.

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