Nepal to confer Saudi prince with highest civilian medal | world | Hindustan Times
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Nepal to confer Saudi prince with highest civilian medal

world Updated: Nov 15, 2010 14:23 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Nepal has decided to confer visiting Saudi Arabian prince, Al-Waleed bin Talal, with Mahaujjwal Rashtradip, the highest civilian medal given to foreign nationals.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the caretaker cabinet held on Monday. The decision will be conveyed to Talal, 55, when he meets President Ram Baran Yadav later.

Talal, nephew of the present Saudi Arabian king, is the 19th richest person in the world with net worth of US $ 19.4 billion according to a list published by Forbes in March this year.

He will be the first foreign national to be conferred with the medal since Nepal became a republic in May 2008 after abolition of the Shah dynasty.

Dubbed the Warren Buffet of Asia due to his generous contributions to various charities and natural disasters, the prince arrived here on Saturday in his private aircraft with a large entourage.

Although it is a personal visit, Talal would be meeting caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, foreign minister Sujata Koirala and will also look at investment opportunities.

Reports quoting government officials say that the billionaire has expressed interest to invest in tourism and hydropower sectors.

“Nepal wants to impress the prince as he is an investor and a member of the royal family of Saudi Arabia where nearly half a million Nepalis are employed,” a foreign ministry official said.