Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal met with European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana in Riyadh today. During their meeting Solana briefed Prince Saud on the outcome of the recent EU summit meeting and discussed his recent tour of the Middle East. Issues that were raised include the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, nuclear energy, an emergent EU-GCC free trade agreement and regional stability.
Regarding the peace process, Solana commended Saudi Arabia for putting forth positive initiatives to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He reiterated the EU’s belief that this conflict is a barrier to peace in the region and emphasized the EU’s desire to find a resolution. Prince Saud praised “the positive position of EU Summit towards Makkah agreement between Fatah and Hamas Movements” and expressed his desire to see the EU help promote peace among the Palestinians and Israelis.
Prince Saud also highlighted European efforts to address the nuclear issue in the region, saying that the Kingdom looks forward to making the Middle East and the Gulf region nuclear-and mass-destruction weapons free and ensuring the right of the States, including Israel, to possess nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Discussing regional stability, both officials stressed the importance of achieving peace in Iraq, Lebanon, and the Sudan. Prince Saud highlighted the achievements of the International Conference on Iraq and noted that they “came within the framework of supporting the efforts to achieve security and stability in Iraq as well as to preserve its independence and sovereignty.” Regarding Lebanon, Prince Saud called upon its leaders to focus on Lebanon’s vital interests while Solana indicated that the EU will exert their utmost efforts to improve the situation in the Levant. Finally, Prince Saud noted that there has been continuous contact between the Arab League and Sudan, in cooperation with the EU and the African Union to find a resolution in Darfur.