King Abdullah to attend economic summit in Washington next month

October 29, 2008

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz will attend a summit on the global economic crisis in Washington next month.


Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal made the announcement at a joint press conference in Riyadh yesterday with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who also met with King Abdullah.

President George W. Bush is hosting the meeting of leaders Group of 20, an organization of major industrialized and developing nations, as well as central bankers and international finance officials on November 15.

“The King welcomes the economic summit and has accepted an invitation to take part in the meeting scheduled to discuss the international financial crisis and its repercussions and the requirements of joint efforts to restore confidence of the global economy and avoid entering into a recession,” Prince Saud said.

The global financial crisis was on the agenda during King Abdullah’s talks with Steinmeier, Prince Saud said. They also discussed ways of boosting bilateral relations.

During the meeting, the King expressed confidence in the strong Saudi economy and noted that continued growth and a stable banking system will enable the Kingdom to cope with any potential impact of the crisis, Prince Saud said.

Saudi Arabia and Germany shared similar viewpoints on international issues as well as the Middle East peace process, he noted. Both countries underscored the importance of stepping up efforts to move the peace process forward.

On Afghanistan, Prince Saud said that the Kingdom is awaiting an official response from the Afghan side to start serious talks.

“We must ensure that the groups attending the dialogue are open-minded and open-hearted and that the purpose of the meeting is to reach an agreement and not display problems and issues,” he said, adding that the Afghan factions should renounce terrorism and any cooperation with terrorists.

The Saudi foreign minister also called on all Afghan factions to work towards reconciliation and begin rebuilding the Afghan economy.

Regarding Iraq, Prince Saud expressed the hope that the recent meeting of Iraq’s neighbors in Amman, Jordan, would contribute to enhanced coordination among countries of the region to promote security, stability and national unity in Iraq and help Iraqis rebuild their country without any external influences.

On other issues, Prince Saud said that both Saudi Arabia and Germany have agreed to help Pakistan and request that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provide it with the needed financial support. He also reiterated the Kingdom’s call for a Middle East region free of weapons of mass destruction.