1999 Public Statement

Saudi-Italian joint communiqué after Crown Prince Abdullah's visit to Italy

A joint communiqué was issued at the end of the three-day state visit to Italy by Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard. Referring to the visit, from May 24 to 26, 1999, as coming within the framework of the strong relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Italy, the communiqué said that the Crown Prince held meetings with a number of Italian officials, including President Carlo Champi and Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema. 

The communiqué went on to say that these talks were characterized by frankness and a sense of cooperation, that a number of issues of mutual concern were tackled, and bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues were reviewed. During the talks, there was emphasis on the strength of the historic relations between the two friendly countries in various fields: political, economic, commercial and cultural. The communiqué paid tribute to the distinguished level, positive role and fruitful implications of these relations, and underscored the necessity of developing and deepening them under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and Italian President Carlo Champi.
On the Middle East peace process, the communiqué underlined the utmost necessity for progress in order to achieve a comprehensive, just and long-lasting peace based on the relevant United Nations resolutions and in accordance with the principles of the Madrid Conference including land for peace. The communiqué also underlined the necessity of honoring all commitments and agreements concluded by the concerned parties, pointing out that violating them would undermine peace and security in the region and make it very difficult to predict the consequences.  The two sides reiterated that the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people must be safeguarded, underscoring the necessity of not prejudicing the current status of the Holy City of Al-Quds [Jerusalem], and condemning any change to the city's demographic structure. They also expressed the necessity of resuming bilateral talks on the Syrian-Israeli track from the point where negotiations stopped, urging Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon and western Bakaa in implementation of UN resolution 425.  The Saudi side voiced appreciation for the supportive position of Italy and the European Union in respect of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination and to set up their independent state.
Reviewing the Iraqi situation, the two sides confirmed Iraq's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and voiced full sympathy with the Iraqi people in their current suffering for which the Iraqi government is held responsible because of its refusal to abide by the relevant UN resolutions. The two sides called on the Iraqi government to cooperate fully with the UN so that the suffering of the Iraqi people can be lifted.
The communiqué expressed deep concern and anxiety over the situation in Kosovo, condemning the brutal practices, savage actions, and offensive ethnic cleansing being carried out by the Serbs. The two sides voiced full support for international efforts being exerted to reach a just solution, including that Serbian forces withdraw from Kosovo to be replaced by international forces, and that the displaced refugees be repatriated and protected. Both sides voiced full support for autonomy in Kosovo, so that its people can exercise their legitimate rights according to the agreements made. The two sides voiced determination to prosecute before a just court, those who have committed ethnic cleansing and crimes of mass murder.
The two sides underscored the necessity for strictness in combating organized international crime and all aspects of terrorism whatever the source. The communiqué stated that confronting terrorism requires integrated international action, and that in this the UN plays a significant role. The two sides pledged to contribute to the discussion currently being held in Vienna on the constitution of the UN agreement for combating organized international crime. The communiqué also stressed the necessity of prohibiting weapons of mass destruction, and urged countries that have not yet signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the agreement on an embargo of nuclear testing, to sign them immediately.
Reviewing economic relations, the two sides agreed to continue efforts to increase joint ventures and their export-import trade.  They also underlined the necessity of continuing the activities of the joint committees, including regular periodic meetings.  In view of the importance of investment, it was agreed that negotiations should be concluded and a bilateral agreement signed as soon as possible.  The communiqué also reiterated the need to encourage joint scientific research, technical cooperation, and cultural exchange in addition to enhancing contacts among universities and academic institutions in the two countries. Alluding to the prominent role played by the private sector in the economy of both countries, the communiqué urged the Saudi-Italian Business Council to intensify its activities to achieve its targeted goals.