Foreign Minister: King Salman, President Hollande are Keen to Enhance Bilateral Relations
Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said at a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Paris today that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and French President Francois Hollande are keen on enhancing bilateral in all fields, including the political, security, military, economic and education fields.
Minister Al-Jubeir added that mechanism for coordination and consultation is established, including Joint Committee co-chaired by the foreign ministers and under supervision of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
Minister Al-Jubeir said that a number of bilateral agreements will be signed later today. These agreements have been negotiated and finalized in a short period of less than six weeks, Minister Al-Jubeir said. He also added that both countries are looking forward to more agreements and understanding.
On the issues of regional security, Minister Al-Jubeir said that “there should be coordination and consultation between the two countries in the fields of economy, trade, investment, technology, armament, defense and military cooperation.”
Minister Al-Jubeir reiterated the keenness of the Kingdom to acquire the best technology in the world in all fields in the service of its people and economy, pointing out that the Kingdom and France have a long history in the field of armament.
The Foreign Minister confirmed that all agreements to be signed today between Saudi Arabia and France are between the two governments without any third party and without any mediator to ensure that the Kingdom obtains the best technology at the best price.
Responding to a question regarding the recent visit to Russia by the Deputy Crown Prince, Minister Al-Jubeir said “We are meeting and consulting with our allies about the region's issues; and we are coordinating our stances towards these issues. The Deputy Crown Prince's visit to Russia was a bilateral visit where we discussed means of enhancing bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Russia. It was also an opportunity to consult with the Russian side on issues of interest in the region, including Syria, Iran's negative acts in the region, the situation in Yemen and other issues."
Regarding the Geneva negotiations on Yemen, Minister Al-Jubeir said “It might be better to consider the negotiations as a first step where there would be additional steps that can be taken. The solution for Yemen is clear and should be based on the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, the outcome of Yemen national dialogue and UN Security Council Resolution 2216. The Geneva meeting was a first step that proved that Houthis were not serious about reaching a peaceful solution with the Yemeni legitimate government."
Regarding the aid provided for the Lebanese army, the minister said that there is an agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and France to provide the Lebanese army with weapons worth $3 billion. The agreement is valid and payments will be scheduled.