Austrian foreign minister to hold key talks



RIYADH: GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Published — Monday 11 February 2013

Last update 11 February 2013 12:51 pm

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Austrian Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger will arrive in Jeddah today for a three-day official visit in an effort to further strengthen relations between Riyadh and Vienna.
On Tuesday, Spindelegger will travel to Riyadh, where he will hold talks on a range of bilateral and regional issues of common concerns with Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, and Prince Saud Al-Faisal, foreign minister. In his departure statement sent to Arab News from Vienna, the Austrian foreign minister said, “Prince Saud invited me personally to Saudi Arabia last November at the opening ceremony of international center for interfaith dialogue in Vienna and I gladly accepted that.”
He said that Saudi Arabia stands out in the region as an important mediator and partner in key issues such as combating terrorism and energy security.
“I am looking forward to a constructive exchange of views on urgent issues such as the conflict in Syria, on-going negotiations with Iran and the stabilization of Yemen,” said the Austrian foreign minister.
Austria has been enjoying close relations with Saudi Arabia for decades, he added, while referring to his visit to the Kingdom. Spindelegger will travel to the UAE on Wednesday.
Austrian Ambassador Gregor W. Koessler said that Spindelegger would also hold talks with OIC officials in Jeddah. The Austrian foreign minister will also open a Saudi-Austrian business forum in Riyadh on Tuesday with the objective to further intensify the economic ties, Koessler added. To this end, the diplomat noted that the Austrian foreign minister will be accompanied by an 18-member business delegation.

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