MADRID (AFP) - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia arrived in Spain Tuesday on the eve of an international conference in Madrid to promote dialogue between the world's main religions. He was welcomed at Madrid's Barajas airport by Spanish King Juan Carlos. The two monarchs will speak at the opening session of the three-day conference which gets underway Wednesday (today) at 2:00 pm (1200 GMT). The conference is organised by the Muslim World League following an initiative by King Abdullah. Saudi officials said Spain was chosen as the site for the gathering because of its historical symbolism as a place where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in peace under Islamic rule between the 8th and 13th centuries. The event will take place against a backdrop of tensions between the Islamic world and the West. They range from restrictions on the use of the veil by Muslim women in some European countries to cartoons regarded as blasphemous by Muslims and the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Around 200 participants are expected, including representatives of the world's major religions: Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. Among them will be the Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress Michael Schneider and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who is responsible for dialogue between the Vatican and Muslims. After an inaugural session on Wednesday attended by the Saudi King and Spain's King Juan Carlos, four closed-door round tables will be held before a final communique on Friday. Last November King Abdullah met Pope Benedict XVI during the first official visit to the Vatican by a monarch from the ultra-conservative Saudi kingdom.