JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Wednesday 6 March 2013
Last update 8 March 2013 6:01 pm
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have emphasized the need for enhancing political consultations and exchanging views on regional and international issues in order to have a joint vision to confront the challenges facing the region.
A joint communiqué issued following the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting in Doha yesterday said such a move would benefit the Gulf Cooperation Council states as well as other Arab and Muslim countries.
The two sides supported the proposal made by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to transform GCC into Gulf Union. Qatar commended the Saudi king for his efforts to set up an interfaith dialogue center in Vienna, Austria. The center opened Nov. 26. The two sides welcomed the formation of a coalition of Syrian revolutionary and opposition forces in Doha.
The coordination council aims at strengthening cooperation in political, security, financial, economic, trade, investment, cultural and other fields between the two GCC neighbors.
At the outset of the meeting, Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, who chaired the Saudi side, emphasized Saudi Arabia’s desire to strengthen its cooperation with Qatar in all fields.
Prince Salman commended the efforts made by Prince Sultan and Prince Naif to bolster Saudi-Qatari relations in the past years.
The two sides agreed to strengthen military cooperation within the framework of the GCC, the communiqué said.
The meeting agreed to conduct research projects in the fields of science and technology in order to boost development of the two countries, exchange visits by academics, develop standards to find out gifted university students, promote student visit programs and develop academic programs.
The two sides also explored prospects of cooperation in town planning and transport areas. The two countries decided to strengthen their security cooperation to fight terrorism, drug smuggling and trafficking and other crimes.
The two sides signed an agreement for organizing border powers, another for combating crimes and a third accord to fight drug smuggling.
The meeting emphasized the importance of expanding economic cooperation and setting up joint investment projects. It agreed to conduct extensive studies on a proposal made by Qatar to set up mechanisms for implementing joint investment projects.
The meeting called upon Saudi and Qatari businessmen to exchange visits in order to expand trade relations.
“Continuous meetings between Saudi and Qatari businessmen required within the framework of the Saudi-Qatari Business Council,” the communiqué said.
The meeting agreed to remove the obstacles facing business to promote trade exchange and joint investment projects.
The two countries will encourage participation in exhibitions to promote their products. Qatar requested Saudi Arabia to exempt it from a decision that bans export of some of its products to the Kingdom. The communiqué said a technical committee would study the matter. The meeting welcomed the signing of an agreement between the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Qatari Ministry of Energy and Environment.
The two sides underscored the agreement for exchanging news between SPA and QNA. Qatar expressed its desire to have a permanent office at Janadriya Heritage and Culture Festival near Riyadh and the Kingdom welcomed the idea and promised unwavering support.
Qatar also requested having a radio frequency in the Kingdom to air "Voice of Khaleej" programs. Saudi Arabia also presented a proposal to promote cultural and media cooperation between the two countries.