Saudi-France Joint Communiqué
At the conclusion of the official visit by Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense to France, Saudi Arabia and France issued the following joint communiqué today
Emanating from the bonds of friendship and close cooperation that bind the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the French Republic, and at the invitation of President Francois Hollande of the French Republic, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has paid an official visit to the French Republic on September 1-4, 2014.
During his visit, the Crown Prince met with President Francois Hollande; Prime Minister Manuel Valls; Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius and Minister Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian and official talks were held between the two sides in an atmosphere and spirit of strong friendship between the two countries. Also, during these meetings, the prospects of bilateral cooperation and ways of enhancing them to serve the interests of both countries and their peoples in all areas were reviewed and discussed.
The two sides have recalled the historical visit that was paid by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to the French Republic in 2007, and the visit of President Francois Hollande to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last year, which resulted in the consolidation of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
The two sides expressed satisfaction of the strong relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and France and their development in all political, security, economic, financial, commercial, industrial, educational and cultural fields. In this regard, they also lauded defense cooperation between the two countries, stressing importance of further strengthening strategic partnership between the two countries in order to serve the common interests of the two countries and their peoples.
The two sides stressed importance of continuing implementation of this partnership with regard to all aspects of economic cooperation, particularly in the fields of finance, economy, trade and joint investments. In this regard, there will be a meeting between the Saudi Minister of Finance and French Minister of Foreign Affairs to complete the relevant measures.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of France lauded the quality of existing cooperation between the two countries in the field of defense, stressing importance of continuation of this cooperation, particularly intensifying cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries.
The two countries expressed the desire to intensify operational cooperation regarding the capabilities, particularly in the field of marine. Within this framework, France expressed its willingness to support the Royal Saudi Naval Forces with speedboats and the Royal Saudi Air Force with transport aircraft and Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) to enhance the Kingdom’s armed forces’ capabilities. The two countries agreed to continue their fruitful cooperation in the field of air defense and development of new capabilities in the field of satellites.
The two countries expressed their pleasure of the success of Hajj Exhibition held at the Arab World Institute in Paris which was inaugurated by President Francois Hollande on 22, June, 2014. They also agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields of culture and art, including organization of cultural events in both countries.
The two countries also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and the world of common interest and the stance of the two countries towards them. Due to importance of their role in restoration of the security, stability and peace in the world and in the Middle East particularly and their keenness to achieve this, the two sides expressed their grave concern about the ongoing events in the region, including the growing danger of the phenomenon of terrorism and extremism, hailing , in this regard, the call made recently by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to the world leaders in order to accelerate the fight against terrorism and the importance of supporting the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center.
The two countries stressed that terrorism is a global phenomenon threatening all societies and is not linked to any race or belief, agreeing to strengthen their security cooperation in this regard.
Regarding the Palestinian Cause and the crisis in Gaza, the two sides strongly condemned acts of violence against civilians and their repercussions on the property and the basic infrastructure of life in Gaza.
With their support of the agreement due to the Egyptian initiative and based on their keenness on the security and stability in the region and world, the two countries expressed hope in achieving just, comprehensive and lasting peace according to the Arab Peace Initiative and the principles of international legitimacy.
The two sides expressed deep concern about the seriousness of the situation in Syria and the continuous shedding of innocent blood, stressing that the Syrian regime that has lost its legitimacy bears the responsibility for this situation and the necessity to search a urgent peaceful and political settlement to the Syrian issue through full implementation of the Statement of Geneva of June 30, 2012. The Geneva's statement included formation of Transitional Governing Body with all the executive powers.
The two countries stressed importance of pushing international efforts to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people in order to ensure stopping killing and achieve stability.
The two sides confirmed importance of continuing to provide humanitarian and relief assistance for the Syrian refugees and to encourage the international community to provide more support for the Syrians inside and outside Syria.
With respect to the Yemeni affairs, the two countries expressed their support for the statement issued by the Security Council expressing the grave concern about the deteriorating security situation in Yemen in the light of the acts carried out by the Houthis and their supporters to undermine the political transition process and security situation in Yemen, to escalate campaigns of the Houthis to exert pressure which is unacceptable to the Yemeni authorities, to threat the political transition process initiated by Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to establish camps in and around Sana'a and their striving to replace the state's authority, to establish checkpoints on strategic roads leading to Sana'a in addition to the hostilities carried by the Houthis in Al-Jawf and other regions in Yemen. In this regard, the two sides stressed their firm rejection of these acts and foreign interference aiming to provoking conflict and instability, confirming necessity to adhere to the legitimacy of the state, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and the political process in Yemen.
The two sides reaffirmed their support for Lebanon's unity, security and stability through its official institutions, including the armed forces, stressing the need to elect a president immediately to unite all parties in order to bypass the current crisis in Lebanon.
The two sides welcomed the consensus of the Iraqis and appointment of the prime minister and the new Iraqi president and new Speaker of Iraqi Council of Representatives, calling for the need to form a government of national unity that represents all people in Iraq.
The two countries stressed that this is the only way to get Iraq out of its crisis and achieving its permanent renaissance.
The two sides confirmed importance of preserving Iraq's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Saudi side welcomed the French initiative to hold a conference on the security of Iraq for consultations with the relevant parties and the Arab League.
The two sides called upon Iran to cooperate entirely with the group (5 + 1) regarding the Iranian nuclear file. This cooperation could resolve the Iranian file within framework of long-term agreement ensuring exclusively peaceful nature for the Iranian nuclear program leading to a significant contribution of the international efforts to make the Middle East free zone of weapons of mass destruction in order to achieve a major interest to the peoples of the region and the entire world.
Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud expressed his thanks to and appreciation to French President Francois Hollande, the French Prime Minister and the French government and people on the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and the accompanying delegation during their his stay in France.