In a joint communiqué issued today at the end of an official visit to the Kingdom by South African Vice-President Thabo Mbeki, Saudi Arabia and the Republic of South Africa expressed their commitment to the establishment of a lasting strategic partnership based on solid cooperation in all fields. The communiqué states: "The two countries shall, in a spirit of friendship and enthusiasm, consider and explore all possible ways and means to implement such a partnership, including, but not limited to, the reaching of specific agreements in the fields of energy, science and technology, trade, industry, investment, sports, youth, culture and defense." The communiqué went on to say that the South African Vice-President was received by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz on November 1, 1998, and also held extensive talks with Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, with whom he discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest and vital concern ranging from bilateral to global issues.
The communiqué also stated: "The two leaders recalled with satisfaction the positive results of their joint efforts to enhance international peace and stability and stressed their conviction that this positive role can be strengthened through the existence of a more formal cooperative framework. The two leaders have also reviewed aspects of the strength of their economies and have concluded that the two economies complement each other naturally, and that this can be exploited for their mutual benefit."