Reforms open up new vistas for Saudis: Spain

April 13, 2018

Saudi Gazette report

SPAIN has praised the ongoing reforms in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia claiming that they have opened up new horizons and opportunities for the Saudi people.

Madrid’s admiration has come in a joint statement issued by the Kingdom and Spain at the end of a visit to that country by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense.

The Crown Prince returned to Riyadh on Sunday following his visits to the United States, Britain, France and Spain that spanned across several weeks.

The Crown Prince met with the countries’ leaders, signing a plethora of deals aiming to strengthen investment ties between them and growing Saudi Arabia’s economy through different sectors.

On the last leg of his tour, Crown Prince Muhammad met with Spain’s King Felipe VI, while in France he met with President Emmanuel Macron and in the US he held meetings with President Donald Trump as well as other top officials in the country to discuss regional developments and different avenues of cooperation.

On Thursday, The Kingdom and Spain signed several agreements and memorandums of understanding with the aim of developing bilateral cooperation in many fields, including air transport, culture, labor, social development, science, technology and defense.

Spain and Saudi Arabia signed a framework agreement to sell the Gulf Arab state warships under a deal estimated to be worth around 1.8 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

The Crown Prince and Spain's defense minister signed an "executive summary to facilitate the necessary procedures" for the Saudi Defense Ministry to sign a contract with Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia for the supply of warships.

Another agreement was signed between state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries Company and Navantia.

Under the deal, Navantia would sell five small warships, Spain's army would train Saudi military personnel and contractors would build a naval construction center in the Kingdom.

The two sides stressed the importance of cooperation and political dialogue between the two countries on international and regional issues.

The two sides also stressed the importance of enhancing security and development in the Sahel in addition to finding a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Regarding the Syrian issue, the two sides stressed the need for a political solution in accordance with Geneva Declaration and Security Council Resolution No. 2254 (2015). The two sides strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Douma, calling on the international community to hold those responsible accountable.

Regarding the Iraqi issue, the two sides praised the victory on Daesh (the so-called IS) achieved by the government of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi with the support of the international coalition.

The two sides also praised the support provided by the international community for the reconstruction of Iraq at Kuwait International Conference in February 2018, wishing more peace, stability and prosperity for Iraq.

April 13, 2018
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